Along with the banishment, Matt Rhule added an acknowledgement: “I would not read too much into this.”
Rhule was talking about kicking the first-team offense off the field nearly two weeks ago, but he could have also been talking about the Franklin Field scrimmage. There is no more anti-Franklin Field person than me, so thoughts of reading too much into the supposedly cozy relationship Temple athletics has with Penn athletics should be put aside for now.
There has always been the thought, first floated by former President David Adamany, that Franklin Field was a perfectly acceptable home for the Temple Owls. Then the most recent President, Neil D. Theobald, said pretty much the same thing two years ago when talking about what could happen if the Owls are not able to build their own stadium.
To me, there are only two options: Lincoln Financial Field and Temple Stadium, not necessarily in that order. There are two reasons for this. Any major conference needs to know a university has full control of its facility on game days, primarily for television scheduling purposes. That would not be the case with Franklin Field. Second, going “back” to Franklin Field would represent a backward step for the program that would be unacceptable to the fans. To go from comfortable seats to bleachers and toilets to peeing troughs is one thing if it comes with the convenience of walking from the dorms to the stadium; to do it after getting on the subway and transferring to the West Philadelphia elevated is another altogether.
“I can’t see why
playing at Franklin Field
isn’t good enough.”
Temple President, November, 2001
“We’re looking possibly on campus,
possibly sharing with Penn.
We’re going to need
to answer that question.”
November 23, 2013.
The only news from the scrimmage was that last year’s starter at guard, Brian Carter, was running second team, and wide receiver Marshall Ellick appeared to stand out above the rest and looks like a sure starter.
For now, though, getting away from 10th and Diamond to a stadium for a scrimmage is a perfectly acceptable move. It gave the Owls a practice in a large stadium to get prepared for the butterflies many of them will have on Sept. 2.
A word to interim President Dick Englert: Don’t read too much into it, because Franklin Field would be an unacceptable future home for Temple football under any circumstances.
Friday: Where’s The Beef?