A new group, named the “T7 Council” was recently formed by parents and alumni in an effort to bring attention to the recent athletic cuts at the university.
The organization recently invited members of the Board of Trustees to an open discussion on Jan. 23. Because of a lack of publicly listed emails for board members, the group says it spent a large sum of money shipping the letters via Fed-Ex to each member.
Dear Honored Servants and Dedicated Staff of Temple University,
We are the T7 Council (“T7”). We are a small coalition of parents and alumni/ae, approved by coaches of the Temple 7, namely, the seven sports teams which Athletic Director Kevin Clark announced the elimination of at his December 6, 2013 speech to the affected student-athletes. The T7 has come into existence to represent the interests of the Temple 7, to streamline communication amongst the various affected parties and to allow the coaches of the Temple 7 to concentrate on coaching and let others work towards the common goal of reinstating the Temple 7 to Varsity status.
We write to you concisely voicing the concern, universally expressed, of all behind the #SaveTempleAthletics movement, from students, to parents, alumni/ae (former student-athletes and not), TU staff, TU educators, Philadelphia residents, Pennsylvania citizens, fellow athletic supporters nationally and internationally on an individual basis, and national sports organizations. This enormous concern is the abject refusal of the Board of Trustees to discuss this determination in the decision-making stage with anyone outside of the AD/President/Board of Trustees’ offices and their researchers, and since the announcement, to continually publicly declare their refusal to revisit the decision in any manner.
We know many have written to and called you individually asking for relief, most of which correspondence has been either unanswered or summarily denied. We know that very recently there have been some discussions about certain possibilities going forward. However, all of your communications have been conducted with secrecy and behind closed doors. To date there has been no effective ability to establish a public, polite dialogue between TU and the vast majority of those concerned. For this reason, the T7 has been established.
We believe and agree with President Theobald’s recent words (responding to the ASA boycott of Israeli academic institutions):
“[O]nly by engaging with one another can we build a deeper level of understanding and live up to the highest ideals of the worldwide academic community.”
Accordingly, we ask permission to engage with you in a Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees of Temple University on January 23, 2014. In the alternative, we ask permission to engage with you in the scheduled Executive Committee meeting of the same date.
We have information on costs and funding sources regarding the Temple 7 that we would like to compare with the AD’s data, and see if it represents new ideas and income. If so, it is in the best interest of TU, and the Trustees, to meet with us to hear this information and formulate a plan together.
Twenty years ago, TU decided that 10 teams were the sacrificial lamb to be offered up for slaughter to appease the polygods of fiscal balance, Title IX and sports conferences/media contracts. However, the teams were then engaged in discussion, given time to fundraise, and with that success they have operated for these intervening years. Twenty years of student-athlete graduates, going into the world, happily sharing their stories of their time at Temple, ambassadors in every sense of the word.
In the weeks since your December 6 announcement, Temple has had lights shining upon it. Unfortunately for you, they have mostly been klieglights. Additionally, you have suffered under a blitzkrieg of attention from the press, most of it bad (see attached list). We offer you the opportunity to come into safe, natural daylight, to discuss openly, and problem-solve creatively. We have a very, very large base of supporters who are eagerly awaiting our announcement of your answer. We welcome your response, individually or as a group, sent to us at this email address:
Thank you for your service to the University to date.