Morgan ruled ineligible to play for Temple

Jesse Morgan, the former Massachusetts guard, was denied eligibility to play for Temple in the 2013-14 season, making it unlikely that Morgan will ever suit up for the Owls.

The news was first reported by Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

There are a few possible reasons Morgan’s appeal was denied. He did not take classes in the spring 2013 semester because UMass denied him the ability to do so for disciplinary reasons. NCAA rules require that to be eligible, a student-athlete must make continual academic progress. Another possible reason is that Morgan has already used four years of eligibility, and this year (which he would have had to sit out) would have counted as his fifth, rendering him unable to play.

The Olney High graduate tore his ACL in January and was later expelled from UMass for disciplinary reasons, which is why he did not take classes in the spring. He was averaging 13.4 points per game in 14 games before the injury.

Morgan meeting with NCAA Monday

Former Massachusetts guard and current Temple student Jesse Morgan will meet with the NCAA on Monday to determine his eligibility for the 2013-14 season.

This story was first reported by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. Morgan, a native Philadelphian who attended Olney High School, tore his ACL in January and was later expelled from UMass for disciplinary reasons.

Morgan has just one year of eligibility left, and the meeting will potentially decide if he can use it at all, and if so, whether he can use it for the 2013-14 season. He is enrolled at Temple as a continuing studies student.

He was in the midst of his best collegiate season last year before the injury, averaging 13.4 points per game in 14 games.

Charleston Classic bracket released

Temple’s first round opponent in the 2013 Charleston Classic will be Clemson.

The tournament bracket was first released by ESPN and confirmed by Temple’s athletic department. Along with seven other schools, the Owls will travel to Charleston, S.C. to play in a double elimination tournament from Nov. 21 to 24.

Temple will have played three regular season games before the tournament. No other American teams will be in it, but Massachusetts, a former Atlantic 10 rival, will be. Temple and UMass will not square off until the final day of the tournament, if at all.

The winner of the Temple-Clemson game will play the winner of the Georgia-Davidson game in the semifinals, while the losers of those games will compete in the consolation bracket against each other. The other half of the first round pits UMass against Nebraska, and UAB versus New Mexico.

ESPN will broadcast all games on various networks.

Men’s basketball to travel to Europe in August

For the first time in the program’s history, the men’s basketball team is going on a European tour.

The team will leave on Aug. 14, visiting four cities along the way: two in France (Paris and Nice) and two in Italy (Milan and Rome). The Owls will play four games on the trip (the press release didn’t specify where the games would be played, but there will likely be one in each city) and return on Aug. 23.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” coach Fran Dunphy said in the release. “Academically, we plan to educate our student-athletes on the different cultures as well as the history of the cities we are visiting. Basketball-wise, it will give our young squad a chance to form its own chemistry before we begin our first season of competition in the American Athletic Conference. So it is a win-win scenario.”

The trip also allows Temple to get additional practice hours. Normally, teams can only practice for two hours a week in the offseason due to NCAA rules. However, since the Owls will be competing overseas, the team will be granted 10 additional full practices before the trip.

Game times for three conference games announced

The American Athletic Conference has announced the kickoff times and television networks for many games, including three of Temple’s.

The Owls’ conference and home opener against Houston on Saturday, September 7 will kick off at noon and will air on ESPN regional networks. One week later, Temple will host non-conference opponent Fordham at 1 p.m. The game will air on ESPN3, ESPN’s web streaming service. Temple’s game at Rutgers on Saturday, November 2 will commence at noon, also airing on ESPN regional networks.

Temple’s season opener is against Notre Dame on Saturday, August 31 at 3:30 p.m. on NBC. A game on Friday, October 11 at Cincinnati will air on ESPN or ESPN2. Kickoff time for that game has not been announced yet.

Bond signs scholarship agreement, will play for Owls

Jaylen Bond, a 6 foot 7 forward, has officially signed a scholarship agreement with Temple and will play basketball for the Owls.

Bond will not get on the court for Temple in this upcoming season. He will sit out the 2013-14 season due to NCAA eligibility rules. He has two remaining years of eligibility starting with the 2014-15 season. There were rumors that Bond could be granted a hardship waiver, allowing him to play this season, but they turned out to be unfounded.

“Jaylen is an excellent addition to the Temple Basketball program,” Temple coach Fran Dunphy said in a press release. “He is a fine young man from a good family. We are looking forward to tremendous things from him during his Temple career.”

Bond, a former star at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., attended the University of Texas for two years before transferring to Temple. In 13.8 minutes per game as a Longhorn, he averaged 3.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

At Plymouth-Whitemarsh, he finished his career as the second-leading scorer in the Colonials’ history, with 1,608 career points. Bond averaged 19.0 points and 11.2 rebounds per game as a senior.

Harris cut by Tiger-Cats after two days

Yep, it happens that fast.

Former Temple running back Montel Harris has been cut from the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Harris, who just signed with the Tiger-Cats two days ago, has now failed to latch on with three professional teams since playing his final collegiate game. He had failed tryouts with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League.

The Tiger-Cats have not released a statement saying that Harris has been cut, but he is no longer on the team’s roster page on the official website.

2013 men’s soccer schedule released

Temple has announced the 2013 schedule for the men’s soccer team.

2013 marks the first season in the new American Athletic Conference. Temple will play eight conference matches, hosting Connecticut, South Florida, Memphis and Cincinnati and traveling to Louisville, Southern Methodist, Rutgers and Central Florida.

Temple went 10-6-3 in 2012, ending the regular season on a three-match win streak before falling to Virginia Commonwealth 1-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference playoffs.

The Owls will play 17 regular season matches in 2013, nine of which are at home at the Ambler Soccer Field on Temple’s Ambler Campus. They will play two exhibition games at home before the season starts against Lafayette and Iona.

Temple will face three city rivals during the season, traveling to St. Joseph’s on September 14, hosting Villanova on September 21 and heading to Drexel on October 5.

Despite having to travel 30 minutes to play a home match, the Owls have only scheduled three regular season match more than a two hour drive from Philadelphia. They head to Louisville on September 28 to battle the Cardinals, to Dallas on October 9 to face SMU and to Orlando on October 27 to play UCF.

2013 Men's Soccer Schedule

2013 Men’s Soccer Schedule (click for bigger view)

Brown reverses course, signs with Tampa Bay

Temple has announced that former RB Matt Brown has signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.

Brown, who agreed to sign with the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders last week, was on his way to Saskatchewan to sign it on Tuesday when an expired passport prevented him from boarding the plane, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Brown was in the process of renewing his passport when the Bucs contacted his agent, expressing interest in signing him. Brown canceled his plans to go to Canada and flew to Tampa to sign an NFL contract.

“Brown owes his good fortune to an expired passport,” Temple said in a press release. “Otherwise, he would have already signed with the CFL.”

Brown’s contract saga is the opposite of fellow former RB Montel Harris. Harris, after trying out with the Bucs and the Philadelphia Eagles, signed a deal to play for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

In a four-year career, Brown, at 5 feet, 5 inches, racked up many honors and records. He was named the 2012 Big East Conference Special Teams Player of the Year, and was on the All-Big East first team as the return specialist. He holds school records for punt return average in a season (14.2 in 2012) and kick return yards in a single game (227 on November 3, 2012 against Louisville). He finished his career second in school history in all-purpose yards with 5,272, third in rushing touchdowns with 22 and fourth in 100+ yard rushing performances with 10.

Brown is one of six former Temple player to sign a rookie deal with a professional team this spring. The other five are Harris (Hamilton Tiger-Cats), OL Martin Wallace (Cleveland Browns), DE John Youboty (Denver Broncos), DB Maurice Jones (Chicago Bears) and K/P Brandon McManus (Indianapolis Colts).

American Athletic Conference reveals logo

The American Athletic Conference, Temple’s new conference, has revealed its official logo.

It was officially released on Thursday morning. Temple, along with nine other schools, will officially join the new conference on July 1.

“The elegant, athletic and classic letter A with the unique star inside and AMERICAN underneath was unanimously chosen by every institution,” commissioner Mike Aresco said. “We believe this bold mark and our series of ancillary marks will support our conference name and the values that our name represents.”