The Carolina Panthers have a Dave Tepper problem

In May of 2018, Dave Tepper made headlines as he purchased the Carolina Panthers for a record-breaking $2.275 billion in cash. With such a hefty price tag, it was clear that Tepper belonged to a league of his own when it came to wealth. However, as the saying goes, money can’t buy everything – and it certainly can’t buy success in running an NFL franchise.

Tepper’s first remarks after acquiring the team hinted at his lack of knowledge and experience in the football world. He admitted that he had no idea what he was getting into, as he hadn’t been involved in the inner workings of an NFL franchise before. This lack of understanding would soon become evident in his management decisions.

At the time of Tepper’s arrival, the Panthers were coming off a string of relatively successful seasons, including a Super Bowl appearance in 2015. However, since Tepper took the reins, the team has failed to achieve a winning season. The franchise has gone through three head coaches under his ownership, and his most recent hire, Frank Reich, is already facing scrutiny in his first year.

One of the major points of contention among Panthers fans is Tepper’s handling of diversity within the organization. In 2018, he claimed to believe in equality for everyone, including men and women. However, his actions have not aligned with his words. When Steve Wilks, an interim head coach and a Black coach, showed promise with a 6-6 record, Tepper only considered him for the full-time position, ultimately hiring Reich instead. To add insult to injury, Reich then brought in Jim Caldwell, another accomplished Black coach, as part of his staff. This move was seen as a slap in the face to Caldwell and a clear indication that Tepper’s commitment to diversity was merely lip service.

Tepper has also made questionable decisions in regards to the team’s roster. The Panthers drafted Bryce Young as the No. 1 overall pick at quarterback, despite the constant turnover at the position since Tepper took over. This lack of stability has hindered the team’s ability to find success on the field.

It’s clear that Tepper’s wealth does not automatically translate to success in running an NFL franchise. Despite his claims of equality and diversity, his actions speak louder than words. Panthers fans have every right to be frustrated with the direction of the team under his ownership. It’s time for Tepper to take a hard look at his management decisions and make the necessary changes to give the Panthers a fighting chance at success. Otherwise, his tenure as owner may go down as one of the most disappointing in franchise history.

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