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.

‘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


Dingle to undergo knee surgery

The men’s basketball team announced today that sophomore guard/forward Daniel Dingle suffered an injury during practice on Dec. 29, and will have arthroscopic surgery next week to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee.

Dingle is expected to miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season. Dingle’s average of 6.7 points per game rank fifth on the team, while averaging 20.3 minutes, 2.3 rebounds and was tied for a team-high 11 blocks.

The news comes as the Owls prepare for a road game at Rutgers tonight.

Coaches: No severance packages

According to a university official, the nine coaches departing as a result of the recently announced sports cuts were all signed to one-year contracts.

The athletics department is not commenting on financial specifics involved in those deals. Third-year baseball coach Ryan Wheeler said that, to his knowledge, none of the departing staff will receive severance packages. Gavin White, who has been with the university for 34 seasons as head coach for men’s crew, said he will not receive a package. White said he is signed to a one-year deal like the other coaches.

The official said that the exception to the one-year contracts are for the revenue sports at Temple, basketball and football.

Crew coach Gavin White | JACOB COLON TTN

Gavin White has been with the university for 34 years as head crew coach.| JACOB COLON TTN

Schuylkill Navy responds to cuts

Margaret Meigs of the Schuylkill Navy has penned an open letter on Temple’s recent cuts to the sports department that included the men’s crew and women’s rowing teams:

We are shocked and saddened by Temple University’s decision to drop rowing from its sports programs. Temple men’s and women’s crew have an illustrious competitive history with the men winning an unprecedented 20 championship titles at the Dad Vail Regatta here on the Schuylkill.

We stand in support of Coach Gavin White and Coach Rebecca Grzybowski and, especially, the student athletes whose very last season may suddenly and unexpectedly be upon them.

Announced in 2012, Temple’s initiative to build a new boathouse on the east bank of the Schuylkill and, as part of the proposal, to fund a substantial portion of the renovation of the Canoe House, was a hopeful and welcome sign to the rowing community that Temple’s program continued to be a strong one.

The Schuylkill Navy supports all efforts to work with the University to reconsider this decision and to ensure that Temple boats continue their presence on the Schuylkill and rowing venues everywhere. 

Owls return home to face Hawks

Temple (3-3) will face St. Joe’s (4-2) on Wednesday night in the Liacouras Center at 8 p.m.

This season marks the first time in 67 years that the Hawks and Owls are competing in difference conferences. In the most recent meeting between the two teams back in February, St. Joe’s beat Temple 70-69. The Owls are 46-18 all time in home games against the Hawks.

Temple is coming off a pair of consecutive wins at the Charleston Classic, as senior guard Dalton Pepper set new career highs in points in both games – 22 points against Georgia and 24 points against UAB.

Noble leaves team

Defensive line coach Brandon Noble has left the team due to personal reasons, head coach Matt Rhule announced in a press conference Monday.

This was Noble’s first season with the Owls, after previously serving as a defensive line coach at Coastal Carolina University and West Chester University. Noble was a former teammate of Rhule’s at Penn State.

Owls host Kent State

Coming off of a victory against Penn last weekend, Temple (1-0) will host Kent State (1-0) in the home opener at the Liacouras Center on Monday at 7 p.m.

In the Penn game, senior Dalton Pepper and junior Will Cummings posted career scoring highs, while junior Anthony Lee posted the sixth double-double of his career.

The Owls are 11-5 in home openers at the Liacouras Center, having won their last four.

Kent State began its season on Nov. 8 with an 84-48 victory over Ohio Northern.

Men’s basketball to open season at Penn

The men’s basketball team will kick off the 2013-14 season with a game against Penn at the Palestra on Saturday at 5 p.m.

The Owls have won the past six match-ups against coach Fran Dunphy’s former team, but are without their leading scorer from last year in Khalif Wyatt. Juniors Will Cummings and Anthony Lee will be looked upon to replace the lost offensive production.

This will be the 68th meeting between the two teams, as Temple holds an overall record of 45-22 against Penn.

Clark appointed Athletic Director

Kevin Clark has been named vice president and director of athletics, President Neil Theobald announced today in a press release.

Clark has been serving as interim athletic director since May 3. Previously, Clark served as  senior associate athletic director at Indiana. Clark also worked in the athletics department and at one point served as the director of business administration-student development at Saint Louis University.

“Kevin’s positions at Saint Louis and Indiana universities give him extensive first-hand experience in both the financial and managerial challenges of sports at the highest levels,” Theobald said in a statement. “I believe he is exactly the person we need to take on the challenges our Athletics Department will encounter in the next decade.”

“This is an incredible opportunity,” Clark said in a statement. “I am thrilled and humbled to be taking on this key position at a school with an incredibly exciting athletics future.”

Clark’s appointment is effective today.