Latest hit piece: Keep Temple’s name out of your mouth

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No big fan of Donovan McNabb here, but his take on a controversy with Terrell Owens in 2005 applies to David Jones’ latest hit piece on Temple football almost 15 years later.

“Keep my name out of your mouth.”

Instead of “my” substitute “Temple’s” and it becomes a perfect retort.

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Jones, who writes for Penn Live, had a strange take on UConn’s exit to the Big East (and apparent de-emphasis of football). He lumped UConn and Temple together, saying Temple should also de-emphasize football and insinuated that it should rejoin the A-10 at the expense of a football affiliation with the AAC.

That is a weak take on so many levels we’ll just concentrate on some here:

  • One, UConn is coming off a decade of failure in football while Temple has enjoyed a decade of sustained success.
  • Two, Temple is not trying to get into the P5. Sure, it would love a P5 invite but I think even the most optimistic Temple fans are not expecting one in the next decade. G5 football is a significant upgrade over FCS, though, and a proven spot where Temple can thrive. If Dave is saying the entire G5 should give up and drop to FCS, that’s one thing but I don’t think he’s saying that.
  • Three, Temple earned in addition to the millions off its AAC football contract, $6 million with the Manny Diaz buyout and $2.6 million with the Geoff Collins’ buyout. Rod Carey’s buyout is $10 million. Owls are not going to leave that money on the table by dropping to FCS.
  • Four, the AAC as currently constituted, is a better basketball conference than the A10 as currently constituted.

Why would Temple, which enjoys terrific football TV ratings and a steady uptick in football attendance, jeopardize any part of its football franchise to ostensibly prop up its basketball one?

I don’t know what his point was. Should Temple drop out of the G5 and the AAC even though it has the most regular-season league football wins since 2015? (More than UCF, Houston, Memphis and USF). That’s a little like the Dems asking Joe Biden to drop out before the first debate (although maybe he should drop out now after it). G5 is not big-time football but it’s certainly better for Temple than an A10 basketball/FCS football combo. (Good luck drawing flies in FCS football to the Linc.)

Plus, there is absolutely no assurance that investing in basketball at the expense of football would improve that product. Why not pursue excellence in the two marquee sports?

In college athletics, you can both walk and chew gum at the same time.

Temple can and should do both and ignore the haters who keep putting the Owls’ name in their mouths.

Monday: Our one week of vacation a year (and five best-of-TFF columns M-F)

July 8: A partnership that works

July 11: Roll call




10 thoughts on “Latest hit piece: Keep Temple’s name out of your mouth

  1. And just why should this Jones guy from Penn Live (U of P?) be dragging Temple into the UConn story and to make negative points about Temple? Anyway, his ideas don’t hold any water as comparing Temple to UConn at this time. We’ll see how things work out with the Owls 2 new head coaches but it’s sure looking good.

  2. Is Jones associated with Penn? if he is he sure is blind to the woes of that school’s football team. They were a perennial top twenty school that often sold out Franklin Field and gave it up for what? 5000 people a game? Reminds me of the LaSalle grad who worked for the Inky who had as his personal mission, bad mouthing TU even though the Explorers play in a gym that is no better than a high school gym. In any event, he could have made his points, which many here have made, without denigrating TU. The question whether TU should be in D-1 football is a valid one and has been for many years. Nevertheless, as long as they are playing D-1, there is nothing wrong to aspire to being successful. Interesting article about UCONN and the most salient point is that they have a 41 million deficit. Add ten mil for the exit fee and the 3 mil entry fee into the Big Least and they have a problem a move like this can’t solve.

  3. Mike, I read that article yesterday and was thinking the exact same thing. His points made no sense at all. Temple isn’t begging for a P5 spot. Sure, it would LOVE to have one (as would EVERY single G5 school), but if not, the AAC has proven that it is a very good league in both football and basketball, with a very good TV contract in place for the long haul. Why would we leave? This is a terrible move for UConn. It shows that their administration is trying to cling to the past, rather than look forward to the future of college sports. One of their board members didn’t like the AAC TV deal because of streaming? Does this guy know what a Roku is? Does he know that in 10 years traditional cable won’t even exist anymore? Streaming is the future of TV and sports. It’s much better to be on the cutting edge than clinging to the past. Temple is in a great spot. It’s in the top ten of the G5 heap, waiting to see how the next round of conference realignment shakes out. Sure we’d love to take Ginger to the prom, but right now we’re dating Mary Ann, and that’s not a bad consolation prize.

    David Jones used to occasionally appear on Philly Sports Talk (RIP). He has covered Penn State football and basketball for 20 years, and is the biggest homer I have ever seen as a journalist. (Which is hilarious, because the guy attended Ohio State) Check out his Twitter bio, it actually reads “Columnist for The Harrisburg Patriot-News, the Penn State bible.” He has always had a pretty low opinion of Temple football and seems to enjoy taking cheap shots at the program whenever he can. I’m not sure how taking shots at Temple helps Penn State, but whatever. The guy is a complete clown.

    • I don’t think he’s as big a Temple hater as LaSalle grads Mike Sielski and David Murphy (I think he’s a closet Temple hoops fan because I used to see him at the LC sitting in the stands when he wasn’t covering the game). No connection to Penn at all but is a Penn State beat writer (you are correct) and an Ohio State grad (also correct). This latest story was a clumsy attempt to make a quasi-local angle (I guess Harrisburg does have some interest in Temple) out of a story that only applies to UConn. Awful take.

  4. Penn Live is an online regional “rag” based out of Harrisburg. It has no national relevance . Dave Jones lives in Downingtown, a Philly exurb, closer to Lancaster/Reading than Philly. The only positive thing he wrote in the article, was able the development in and around main campus. Otherwise he is a blatantly biased journalist & closet Penn State fan. Though not as biased as Penn State alumnus Mike Missaneli. But a topic for another story .

    • Agree. Temple finally hired a “ready-made” staff with recruiting connections who are about to cull the best of their NIU recruits (who probably would turn down NIU) with a Temple offer. Temple. The nation’s sixth-largest educator of professionals. There is a LOT of value in that degree and there is a football program that will now benefit from it. Thanks, Pat Kraft, for not balking at the $10 million buyout. I don’t like you for scheduling Bucknell but I will give you credit where it is due and Temple getting $10 million for a whole lot of stability it never had before is a great, great job.

    • Yes, Temple needs to be satisfied with the AAC – with an eye out for a P5 invite of course – but feel settled in the AAC. I’ve been saying for quite some time that the AAC is as perfect for Temple as it can be. It’s the top G5 conference and Temple has proven it can be very competitive in it. But the Owls have more work to do. Consistently winning more games against P5 teams and winning bowl games and conference championships (or at least playing for it) are how to move up. Then we’ll really be ready for a P5 invite if it ever comes to that. Go Owls.

  5. Even as a houston grad this guy annoyed me at several levels. First, Temple is doing fine at football, been in conference championship games, and gone to bowls. Secondly, the AAC actually is the old big east if I remember the conference history correctly. The basketball teams paid to leave and bought just the name as the history remained with the AAC. I know this is a trivial point, but the word return is bothersome. CON was dismal at football and contributed little to basketball last year and the conference will do fine without them. I really don’t think that the conference needs to replace the that quickly and needs to hold out for quality. Thanks mike, I always enjoy trolling your site when getting ready for the season to start. Wish we had one like this.

    • The biggest mistake the schools made was selling the old Big East name. For what? NCAA basketball tournament credits? That name had cache and the current Big East basketball should be called The Catholic League.

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