What a Revolting Development ….


With only a few seconds in an eminently winnable game NBA at Miami, something stood out like a 6-foot-11 sore thumb.

The Philadelphia 76ers were winning and this decade’s version of “Hack-A-Shack” was in the game. Of course, instead of two 90 percent free throw shooters Mario Bellinelli and J.J. Redick being in there to catch the ball and get fouled and win the game, Ben Simmons was spotted and fouled immediately and the Sixers lost at the buzzer mostly because he missed two free throws.

What does this have to do with Temple football?


Because after the game, Sixers head coach Brett Brown said it was “more important for Simmons’ development” to be in there than it was to win the game.

The word “development” caught my ear because I heard, by my count, Temple football head coach Geoff Collins a derivative of it not one, not two but four times at the recent recruiting celebration. Collins said “we’re a developmental program”  while reviewing some recruiting film and saying a lot of these players are in the developmental stage and are coming here to be developed. It wasn’t the first time he used it. This is what he said in an interview on SI.com last May:  “I think this place is a developmental program, so I take pride in that.”

I guess Florida wasn’t a developmental program.

Hmmm. I’m sure Collins means well, but I don’t like the term.

Developmental program is a term I’ve never associated with Temple football before Collins came to town. AAC championship program, yes. Top 25 program, yes. Developmental program, no. While players certainly have been developed and nurtured (the most recent example is Haason Reddick), the primary purpose of Temple football has been to win as many games as possible. If someone got developed along the way, fine, but development was always secondary to playing in championship games.

To me, like the Sixers’ game above, winning is not the most important thing, it’s the only thing. I could not give a rat’s ass about Simmons being in there to learn a lesson, nor could I give a similar derriere for Logan Marchi’s “development” as a quarterback meant keeping him in there for seven games, looking awful against a bad Villanova team and stinking up Lincoln Financial Field in winnable games against Houston and UConn. A seven-game career as a starter was way too long for Marchi, who failed an eye test two games into his starting career and should have earned a permanent spot on the bench.

Big-time college football is a business and, in business, it’s either up or out. Marchi wasn’t treading upward after a brutal Game Two performance against Villanova and should have been out.

One of William Bendix’s catch phrases in the old TV show “Life of Riley” was “What a Revolting Development” and that applies to the word “developmental” and Temple football. A year ago, Collins was touting Temple as a “Top 25 program” and now it’s “developmental program.”

I prefer Top 25, thank you.

Let’s hope Temple never becomes the Sixers and sacrifices a precious game for the development of any single player. The football Owls don’t get to play 82 games a year. They can’t afford to trade wins for development.

Monday: 5 Questions for The Stadium Meeting

Wednesday: Eye On Atlanta

Friday: Reflections on The Town Meeting

3/12: Spring Practice Begins



10 thoughts on “What a Revolting Development ….

  1. Even worse would be development situation for his assistants as they acclimate to the higher level of the game in the AAC.

    • my thoughts exactly…, G5 programs prepare coaches for P5 positions. the P5 loves successful G5 programs.., little effort on their part, they pick the best fruit each year w/o having to expend the labor…,

      what about the G5 student athletes? that is the question.

      TUFB is neurotic, still searching for an identity. Collins believes ‘developmental’ is the destination. This is at odds w/the AD, alumni, student body, and fans. Remember College Game Day?

      Many years ago TUFB stood at a crossroad. Follow BC, Rutgers, Maryland, Pitt, etc., to the P5 promised land, or lower the sail and stay in the harbor. The decision was shortsighted and stupid, it sealed our fate. we need to go find those people who sat at the table and cut their hearts out

      TUFB needs a Messiah. Golden and Rhule had vision…, DAZ and Collins would/will never do.

  2. Good observations. Fans develop anxiety watching bad play. We developed enthusiasm watching players like Matakevich, Reddick, Ionaddis, and Dawkins develop.

  3. In this case I think your coach actually has the right idea in theory but he framed it very awkwardly. IMO for any non-blueblood program, player development is crucial because unless you’re Ohio State, ND, etc, you don’t have 4/5* backing up 4/5* just waiting to take their spot as the starter. Programs like Rutgers, Temple etc NEED to give kids a chance and develop them over years moreso than say a ND, where if you’re not making your mark by year 1-2 they can pretty much just recruit right over you and not even blink an eye. Take Adonis Jennings; he took a few years to get going but his last season and a half at Temple were very good. I don’t think he would have gotten that chance had he stayed at Pitt even though he did play there as a frosh. I also doubt Reddick ever turns into a 1st Round draft pick at say OSU or USC; I don’t think they ever would have given him the chance.

    Joe P.

  4. Hope Collins takes this to heart because if anyone needs development it’s him. He did show some when he negated Patenaude’s influence last season but, in my mind, he did not go far enough because he kept Sharga chained to the bench. If at Cherry and White we see a predominance of read-option and a dearth of Temple Tuff, we’ll know his development has stalled and we Owl fans are in for another mediocre season.

    • Same could be said for Coach Dunphy. Over the last few seasons, the bb program stalled in the AAC, which has resulted in very mediocore seasons.

  5. Temple Round Ball : How many NBA players from TU since F Dunphy at the helm ?
    Isn’t that 1 way to gage a good program ?
    It is a program not too fun to watch any longer.
    Possible he is just a great .500 coach.
    I miss going to the A10 series down in old AC of a few years ago, some of the most entertaining Saturdays we used to have, Great double header games and got to sit close to the action also in the old convention center.
    Loved that all schools brought their pep band, kept the small crowds happy. Another great experience gone away.

  6. kj, I noticed the one thing you left out of your list of those who are at odds with “developmental” as an acceptable destination, is the BOT. While they’ve approved spending more in recent years on salaries and facilities, they don’t seem to mind mediocrity in who they hire for HCs and consequent assistants hires and the mediocre results. Two 10 win seasons were gravy but not the demanded destination. Never have really, the BB program as an example too.

    I was just talking to an old friend in Nashville (I used to live there) who is a Vandy fan and we’ve been solid sports buddies for years supporting each others’ respective college teams. My assessment to him was that Temple has never had the money to buy out coach contracts and is therefore destined to wait out poor results till the end. (Even Vandy has plenty of money to do buy them out.) Temple’s poor financial athletic support has a lot to do with it’s mediocrity. But it’s more than that. While player development may be enhanced because of it, coach’s development (always a learning curve), because of poor coach hiring choices, seems to suffer – as proof is Temple’s poor record against the top MAC teams over the years. Those MAC coaches do a great job with player development and have lower salaries than Temple. They would jump at coaching at Temple but Temple never offers them a chance and instead get these unproven guys. Why? BOT? Go figure…….

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