What’s out of our control?
For Temple football, injuries to the offensive line or quarterback could turn a potential championship season into another mediocre bowl run.
That’s out of our control.
Yet, in a recent interview in the Temple News, new Temple University Board of Trustees chairman Mitchell Morgan hinted that something else also important to the future of the program was “out of our control” and that is a place to play.
This is what Morgan, a real estate developer who helped bring to fruition Morgan Hall (one of the best student residences in the country), had to say about an on-campus football stadium in a recent Temple News interview:
“It would be great to have an on-campus stadium,” he added. “But if it’s not in the cards, then we will find another place to play football, but it’s out of our control.”
Since everyone in the administration refuses to even comment on the stadium issue pretty much since last March’s (2018) disastrous meeting with the community at Mitten Hall, that statement is about as revealing as anything. Even athletic director Pat Kraft, in an interview with CBS radio’s Zach Gelb, pulled a Sargent Schultz when he said “I really don’t know anything” about where a stadium stands. New head coach Rod Carey hasn’t uttered a word about the proposed stadium, at least in print, and former coach Geoff Collins’ only statement was that he would help the university in any way he could. I doubt Manny Diaz even knew the uni was considering a stadium. Matt Rhule said he was in favor of a stadium “if done right” and Al Golden was the first coach to bring up how important building an on-campus stadium was back in 2006.
Those aren’t the top guys, though. Mitchell Morgan now is.
” … but if it’s not in the cards, then we will find another place to play football, but it’s out of our control.”
That’s an important comment from the top guy because Temple currently has no place to play football next year and that’s troubling. The hope is that Jeffrey Lurie extends the Lincoln Financial Field lease, but that has not happened yet and both Franklin Field and Chester are unacceptable options, one where the Owls would not have control and the other where 18,000 seating is just too small for a team that averaged 28,765 fans last year.
The irony is that this really is in Temple’s control if it wanted to think big. The university already plays almost 100 intercollegiate events at its $22 million Olympic stadium complex at Broad and Masters and it would be able to shoe-horn a 35,000 seat stadium into that spot if it wanted. Those neighbors probably would trade six events a year for the 100 and moving the Olympic teams back to 15th and Norris would not require shutting down 15th Street, which is the major obstacle.
It’s a King Solomon-like solution that the university apparently does not want to pursue but it’s certainly one that is within its control.
Monday: Finally, Game Week Is Here