IUP Head Coach Lou Tepper said a lot of things on the record during his press conference Tuesday. He said the basic things a coach says after losing two in a row. That wasn't the story. The story was what he said off the record, while my recorder was turned off and my pen was in my pocket that was the real story.
A fellow reporter asked Tepper about his job security and whether he was worried about it. Tepper responded by saying, "Absolutely not."
He continued to say: "I am commanded by my faith not to have any fear. I don't have any fear. If the Lord wants me here, there ain't nobody around that's getting me out, and if he doesn't want me here, it doesn't matter if I want to be here."
Tepper hinted at problems outside of football being the reason for IUP's fast fall from grace.
"There's a reason for this, not just coaching, and I'm not at liberty to say anything now," he said. "I may be in the future, but this didn't happen overnight to have the situation that we're in."
What Tepper meant by him being able to say something in the future remains to be seen.
None of what Tepper said after this press conference can be confirmed by anyone but three people and I'm one of them.
If Tepper thought things were bad Tuesday, I could only imagine how he felt after IUP's beat down at the hands of Gannon Saturday, 45-17. IUP committed five turnovers, four of which came from the arm of quarterback Bo Napoleon.
IUP's loss to Gannon was its third in a row and could very easily turn into four in a row by this time next week when the Crimson Hawks travel to PSAC West juggernaut Cal U (7-1, 4-1) who is coming off of a surprising loss to Mercyhurst Saturday, 31-21. The Vulcans will more than likely look to take out its frustrations of the loss on the fledgling Crimson Hawks.
It may not have started overnight, but IUP football is in a free-fall with no bottom in sight.
Tepper did bring up a lot of valid points as to why it has occurred, but in my opinion, he is not out of the clear.
The people that Tepper was able to recruit have not panned out for one reason or another. He has made questionable in-game decisions time after time. The way he has handled the maturation, or lack their of, has proved tumultuous thus far and could get worse. I failed to mention IUP's last game of the season at home against currently undefeated Kutztown.
Tepper has made his fair share of mistakes, but he really hasn't had the help from the administration that he has needed to make this team into a contender. To steal a saying from Bill Parcells, he has not been allowed to shop for the groceries to cook a good meal with.
Tepper's questionable decisions coupled with what he said off the record have created the perfect storm for IUP's football program to implode right before our very eyes.
It has not been pretty to watch and it will not get any prettier.