Fitzgerald earns fourth Freshman of the Week award

Feyonda Fitzgerald was announced as the American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week on Monday, her fourth such honor of the season. She was also named to the Big 5 Honor Roll for the week.

The freshman guard adds the pair of honors to a credentials list that will likely warrant strong consideration for The American’s Freshman of the Year award at season’s end.

Temple’s leading scorer through 19 games with 13.5 points per game, Fitzgerald led the Owls (10-9, 4-4 The American) with 25 points and nabbed seven rebounds in Temple’s 74-68 loss to Rutgers on Saturday.

Theobald calls for meeting with cut teams

President Theobald has called for a meeting with coaches and student-athletes from the seven disbanded sports programs.

According to coaches, the meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at the Liacouras Center and will consist of 15 minute presentations for each team. Each coach will be able to bring two selected student-athletes.

Coaches were informed via e-mail that the university would be represented by multiple members of the administration.

Sophomore Evan Hammond of the men’s crew team said he hopes that this meeting will provide the disbanded teams answers.

“All the athletes want this decision overturned,” Hammond said. “If there is anything we can do to make that happen, we want to know what it is and how to get it done.”

However, Hammond believes the meeting could be nothing but an attempt to save face.

“I think the presentation will probably just be a justification of the cuts,” he said. “Based on the way this was handled, this seems purely a PR move.”

E.J. Smith

Cummings returns, Owls lose seventh straight

Will Cummings showed the Owls what they were missing when he sat out last week due to concussion-like symptoms, as he scored a team-high 20 points at Connecticut on Tuesday night.

But it wasn’t enough to beat the Huskies.

And for the first time during this now seven-game losing streak, Temple (5-12, 0-6 American Athletic Conference) failed to keep the score close throughout the contest – UConn (15-4, 3-3 American Athletic Conference)  won 90-66.

A Cummings three-pointer and layup gave Temple a 5-2 lead during the early minutes of the first half. A few plays later, however, the Huskies went on a 14-0 run to give themselves a 32-16 lead. UConn shot 59.4 percent in the first half, while the Owls shot 44.4 percent from the field. At halftime, Temple trailed 48-34.

“We needed to manage the game a little better than we did,” coach Fran Dunphy said. “They had a lot of firepower. We got a little bit of firepower back when Cummings was ready to play, but we needed to manage the game better.

The Owls never got close to the Huskies in the second half. UConn scored its 10th three of the game early in the second half, part of a 10-run that gave the team a 25-point. Conference rebound leader Anthony Lee failed to grab a rebound Tuesday, but the junior forward did score 14 points. The Huskies outrebounded the Owls 45-24.

Temple will next host nationally-ranked Cincinnati at home on Sunday at 4 p.m.

Brown honored in honor rolls

This week, junior guard Rateska Brown has been named to the Philadelphia Big 5 and American Athletic Conference honor rolls.

Brown has been an essential offensive weapon in the Owls’ recent two game winning streak — the team’s first winning streak since starting the season 3-0. Coming off of the bench, Brown has averaged 16 points in the last two conference games, including 15 points against Southern Methodist, and a season-high 17 points against Cincinnati.

In the last two games, Brown has been Temple’s most effective long range scorer, shooting a combined 7 of 15 from behind the three point line. Brown has averaged 36 percent from the floor this season, but in both of Temple’s last two meetings, Brown has shot over 50 percent.

‘T7’ formed to fight athletic cuts

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.

Below is a copy of the letter: 

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.
Respectfully submitted,
T7 Council


Crew begins training

Although the men’s crew team cannot go out on the water just yet, the team began its winter training on Monday for what is set to be the final season for the historic program.

The team will spend much of the next few weeks indoors, lifting, perfecting its rowing techniques on erg machines and doing towers in Wachman Hall.

“Towers, you run up 14 flights of stairs and back,” senior co-captain Zephyr Dippel said. “That is one tower and we do that over and over until you pretty much throw up.”

The team will begin practicing on the water a few weeks before spring break.

Crew begins practicing

Although the men’s crew team cannot go out on the water just yet, the team began its winter training on Monday for what is set to be the final season for the program.

The team will spend much of the next few weeks indoors, lifting, perfecting its rowing techniques on erg machines, and doing towers in Wachman Hall.

“Towers, you run up 14 flights of stairs and back, senior co-captain Zephyr Dippel said. “That is one tower and we do that over and over until you pretty much throw up.”

The team will begin practicing on the water a couple weeks before spring break.

Owls get another transfer

Philadelphia native and Friends’ Central graduate Devin Coleman has transferred to Temple from Clemson, the athletic department announced Thursday.

The news was first reported by Coleman averaged 5.4 points per game in 10 games this season for the Tigers. He started one of those games, a 65-49 win against South Carolina State where he scored 16 points, a career high.

Coleman was a four-time All-Friends League selection at Friends’ Central, where he led them to three straight state championships. He joins Jaylen Bond and Jesse Morgan as players Temple ha sunder scholarship who are sitting out this season after transferring.

Rowing team headed south

The women’s rowing team will head to Florida on Thursday to begin its training in preparation for its final season at Temple University.

For the first time since the semester ended, the team of 60 will look to regain its mental focus on rowing.

“We are hoping to log some miles,” coach Rebecca Smith-Grzybowski said. “Just to get on the water. It will be a change of scenery, change of pace and getting the team back together. It’s just going to be a really good time to get away. No one has school to worry about, we just get to be together and train hard and start to set some goals for the upcoming season and row as much as we possibly can.”

The team will spend just about 10 days in Florida and return to Philadelphia on January 18th.

Thames earns weekly conference honors

For the first time this season, senior forward Natasha Thames has been named to the American Athletic Conference’s weekly honor roll.

In her last two conference games, Thames has scored in double figures, including a 24 point effort in a loss to No. 5 Louisville. Against the Cardinals, Thames also recorded game-highs with nine rebounds and two blocked shots. In a win against Central Florida, Thames recorded 14 points, three rebounds, and two steals.

Thames is now the fourth Owl to be honored by The American this season, joining fellow starters Tyonna Williams, Feyonda Fitzgerald, and Shi-Heria Shipp.