New TU President: Success in BE a priority

Board of Trustees chairman Pat  O’Connor introduces Neil  Theobald.

“Looking at the fundraising program, how do we expand that, what’s our strategy, how do we make contact with people — that’ll be number one. Then, how do we make the athletic program successful in the Big East, that’s a very important step.”
_ Dr. Neil D. Theobald, President-elect, Temple

While this week at 10th and Diamond was dedicated to the short-term success of Temple’s football program, possibly the best indication of the long-term future of the program came on Tuesday.
That’s the day Dr. Neil D. Theobald was introduced as the new president of Temple University.
I must say I was a big advocate of Ed Rendell for the job because of the former Governor’s immediate identification as a “Joe Philadelphia” fan, the kind of subway alumni Temple football must attract to sustain success.
Still, I was impressed by Theobald’s first press conference at Mitten Hall when he listed “success in the Big East” as one of his top two priorities in office.
Theobald, a lifelong baseball fan, hit one out of the park with that comment.
As someone who lived through a Temple president who cared little about athletics (err, David Adamany), the correlation of priorities from the top and results on the field often coincide.
Temple University now has a $17 million practice facility that is more than adequate to succeed in a Big East environment and that was funded by a Board of Trustees that understands the importance of success in big-time college football.

Bloomington Herald-Times likes Temple’s choice.

Temple now has all of the pieces in place to be successful in the Big East in the two marquee sports, football and men’s basketball. A great BOT, a great president and, more importantly, great coaches in Steve Addazio and Fran Dunphy.
Addazio and Dunphy can work for anybody, but they chose Temple because of that kind of support from the top and because they are Temple-type people: Hard-working, sincere, honest and genuine.
“Coach Addazio is the realist (sic) coach who ever lived,” Oakland Raiders’ wide receiver Rod Streater said, paying Daz perhaps the highest compliment a player can pay a coach.
I think Theobald would like Daz and Dunphy and vice-versa.
I’m sure Theobald would want to be successful in baseball, too, but that’s not a high-profile sport at the collegiate level.
I’m all for Temple being succcessful in everything but, if I had my druthers, I’d take football first and men’s basketball second.
Those are my priorities.
It looks like those are Theobald’s, too.


4 thoughts on “New TU President: Success in BE a priority

  1. As a former Temple athlete, I just hope the football team becomes extremely profitable and that Bradshaw and the new President give back some of the non-revenue sports the money that was sucked out of their budgets by an extremely unprofitable football program. I don't mean that as a dig at football bc I enjoy football, but I watched many of the non-revenue team budgets get slashed as football ate up the budget. With that being said, i'm excited to be in the Big East…i just want Temple to have an all-around great athletic program and not just solely focused on one or two sports.

  2. Couldn't agree more, Workingboy. I still remember 1986, when the wrestling team finished 17th in the country and had an individual national champ (Bill Hyman @ Heavyweight). For their efforts, the team was cut, to create more money for football. And who knows, maybe today's wrestling gold medalist, Sicklerville's Jordan Burroughs would have gone to Temple,…if we still had a program.That's history, looking forward now, Temple is definitely heading in the right direction. Plus, I can't wait for the 'Villain-nova' game!

  3. I was there. The wrestling team was not cut because of football, but because the athletic department needed to balance the scholarship opportunities between men's and women's teams, so they dropped one men's sport (wrestling) and added a women's sport. They were almost going to drop baseball, too, but a massive protest in the BOT office involving 200 students led them to shelve that idea and add another women's sport instead.Thanks to football's minimum $8 to $9 million profit per annum (just by signing the BE contract), those days are over, fortunately.I don't know if we'll get wrestling back, but I hope so.I think baseball is safe under Theobald.Maybe we could add men's lax.But it's all up to Temple grads to show up at Temple football games for that to happen.We don't need to pack LFF, but we need to get it more than half full.

  4. Agreed, it was all related to Title 9. Temple, like many other schools, addressed the legislation in a way it was not intended. Rather than creating more opportunities for women, they simply cut olypmic mens sports (I believe 6 of them). The Big Ten & Ivy League schools didn't follow this path, and became very successful in these sports. But yes, I agree with you, maybe football can now make the Temple tent bigger for other sports. See you at the Linc!

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