Losing the Locker Room

It’s an age-old sports edict that often is used when a baseball manager is let go.

“He lost the locker room.”

Losing the locker room has been a general sports term and, in the past, refers to when the manager (or coach) loses the trust and belief of the players.

Rarely, though, has it been meant to be a literal term.

Until now and Temple is Ground Zero.

Temple head football coach Rod Carey has taken it across that threshold by losing his best defensive player last year (Quincy Roche) and one his best players on the other side of the ball (Kenny Yeboah) not to the NFL, but other teams. Losing role players I can understand. Losing starters is inexcusable. Losing what could be your 10 best players in two years should be a Defcon One Alert.

This year, he’s even taken that to another level by losing (at least in my mind) two of his three best offensive players (Anthony Russo and Ray Davis so far). The third, Jadan Blue, is still here but who knows how long that will last. The fourth is Branden Mack.

There are strong rumors that not only will those two follow Russo and Davis out the door in the coming days and weeks and that another high-profile defensive player will join that group.

How did it happen?

The arrival of a coach who completely lacks charisma with players (Carey) and the transfer portal is the perfect storm to take Temple back the dark ages of 1991-2006. Temple football has a Hurricane Katrina-like catastrophe headed for 10th and Diamond and those buildings won’t withstand it.

The remedy is as simple as it is complicated.

If this were baseball, the owner would swallow the bad hire and move onto the next one. Pay the contract off, hire a smart manager who also had the charisma to get along with the players and hit the reset button.

College football is different and that’s where the complicated part comes into play.

Group of Five schools generally give out five-year guaranteed contracts and let them expire before moving onto the next guy.

This time, though, Temple’s case appears different. It’s one thing to lose the locker room figuratively and quite another literally.

This time, a course correction needs to be made before it’s too late. Finding a competent coach who understands the Temple way and Temple players should be job one right now. Building this program to where it appeared on ESPN Gameday and set TV ratings records for a Saturday night game on ABC (along with winning a championship) was too hard to have it torn down now.

The ball is in the the air and headed for Board of Trustees consideration. Let’s hope they understand the urgency to catch it.

Friday: The Transfer Portal and Temple

Monday: Russo’s Legacy at Temple

Friday: What Can Joe Fan Do?

Monday (12/21): Five Plays that Defined the Season

Christmas Day: What’s Under the Tree?


16 thoughts on “Losing the Locker Room

  1. I’ve seen many of the comments pleading for some patience with regard to Carey and recognize that there might be some validity. All of the players using the portal were not his recruits and perhaps just don’t fit with his plans for the program. And MOST seem to have moved on to greener pastures, so to speak.

    BUT, if you read the article on Philly.com about this graduate transfer from Illinois, note that Ray Davis is headed to Vanderbilt!!

    You can tell me all you want about the opportunity to play at a SEC program, but I ain’t buying it. The Vandy program is a disaster and headed in the wrong direction. This is a program that manufactured a story of the first female player because they are such a joke.

    When players are jumping ship to sign on with the Commodores. That’s telling you something about your coach.

    God Bless Davis, Vandy is certainly a great school, but he’s not cashing a ticket to the NFL going there. Hope he takes advantage of the academics.

    • Temple (under a competent coach and even without a winning team) 37, Vandy 7. That’s all you need to know about the difference between the Vandy program and Temple. Even with all of our kicking problems, we have a better kickoff person than they do. Now let’s get another competent coach.

    • His reasoning to play at Vandy is legit. He should slot in as an immediate starter. He will be on television every week instead of ESPN+. It will raise his profile with NFL scouts. No reason for them to scout NFL talent at Temple any longer since all the pro prospects will end up in the transfer portal.

      He’s playing the smart game talking about homesick. Badmouthing the coach is not a good look to NFL people.

    • I wish Ed Rendell didn’t have health problems. Otherwise, he’d be perfect for Temple. Big sports fan. Ivy League education to satisfy the Temple faculty. Politically connected. Loves football. Loves Philadelphia. Need to get someone with all those connections for Temple.

      • It is a shame Rendell is a shell of his former self and he’s been for a while. About five years ago I went to the funeral service for one of my former bosses. He was a judge who worked for the DAs office before becoming a judge. He was single and lived the bachelor’s life. During the funeral, which was in a church Rendell told a story about the deceased. Rendell recalled that that he was walking by the deceased office one day and heard him screaming at someone on the phone. When the call ended, Rendell asked my old boss what the problem was and my boss, according to Rendell, said that these women think all I am is a sex machine. People gasped and then the church went silent because they couldn’t believe what Rendell said especially in front of the deceased’s children and grandchildren.

      • Wow. I think Ed got eulogy and roast mixed up. 🙂 I think the boss would have appreciated the story at the latter but not the former. Ed has Parkinson’s. That does not get any better.

  2. The Board of Trustees need a strong president to run the school without close supervision based on how they failed to supervise Theobald Peter Liacouras was great and was 100% Temple. We need a Temple Tuff president who knows the ropes and will fight for the school against dirty brawlers. What’s Rocky Balboa doing now?

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