Honesty Is The Best Policy

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With Temple football, the only thing “forever” is the fans, not the coaches or players.

When my mother was alive and I was in my more formative years, she used to repeat two phrases over and over to me which were not original, but at least profound.

“Honesty is the best policy.”

“If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

Temple first-year head coach Geoff Collins’ mom must have said the same thing when he was growing up because, in the six months or so he’s been on the job, he’s been both honest and nice. I haven’t heard him say a negative word about anyone and he’s seemed to avoid the proclamations of loyalty to Temple that got past coaches criticism for hypocrisy, let alone lack of honesty.

I guess Temple fans should be thankful for that much, but the questions about what impact this will have on recruiting have yet to be answered.

Maybe that’s what Collins was thinking back in December when he answered the best question of the introductory press conference this way:

“I’ll tell them I concentrate on the here and now.”

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In true Jeopardy fashion, we will now give you the  question was posed by Temple-made 920 The Jersey sports talk show host Zach Gelb.

“Can you honestly tell kids you are recruiting you will be here when they graduate?”

It has been part of the sidebar of this website to print what I determine to be the best quotes about the program on the sidebar and I have included two quotes from in the past from former Temple coaches.

One, was this one from Matt Rhule:

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That was last year after Rhule signed his second five-year contract.

Another was from Al Golden on the day he was hired. “I’m going to build a house of brick, not straw.”

While Rhule didn’t keep his promise of a year ago, Golden pretty much kept his made over a decade ago. Golden built the program the right way, recruiting a highly-rated (compared to league foes) class every year and making sure the program sustained itself by redshirting a large group of players in order to build depth down the line.

He left after five years, owing Temple nothing, making no promises he would be here for the long haul.

Rhule left the program in good shape, too, yet a lot of fans wished he had been more honest.

If you want honest, you’ve got him in Collins. While it might be nice for recruiting purposes for Collins to say he wants to be “The Guy” who wants to stay and build something more substantial than Golden or Rhule did, honesty certainly is the best policy.

His Mom should be proud.

Monday: Outside Perceptions about the 2017 Owls

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8 thoughts on “Honesty Is The Best Policy

  1. Mike, great piece. So true about the only thing forever about Temple football is the fans. I guess Temple will never have a guy like Bear Bryant or Wayne Hardin in terms of long-term commitment. I go to your website not for facts but for opinion and your opinions are something I value. Keep up the good work.

  2. Joe Paterno and J. Edgar Hoover are two strong cases against longevity.

    • John Chaney, Skip Wilson and Wayne Hardin are a trio of contrary cases. As a Temple guy, I guess I’m holding onto that standard way past its time. Cannot believe that Skippy had Temple winning 1,000-plus baseball games and in two College World Series. Although a minor sport at Temple (even then), might be a more fantastic achievement than the back-to-back 32-win seasons of JC or the 14-game winning streak of coach Hardin.

  3. Chaney, Wilson, and Hardin are exceptions to the rhule. Wayne had a lifetime membership to Manufacturer’s Country Club, which did the trick. Chaney was a Philadelphia Hoops legend, and was a big fish in the pond and could tell some tales. I don’t know why Skip stayed so long, so you can enlighten us. Skip won more games than any coach in Philadelphia history except for Connie Mack, but Skip had a much better winning percentage.

    • The one common thread was that they were essentially Philly guys. Skip went to St. John’s across the river from Roxborough (Conshohocken). John Chaney was Public League Player of the Year at Ben Franklin and Wayne, although from Stockton, had his greatest successes (five wins over Army and a pro football championship) as a head coach in Philadelphia. Maybe it’s time to groom a Philly guy who has the qualities of those guys for Temple’s next coach. I cringed when Foley’s brother called the radio the day Rhule quit and said, “Don’t worry, Temple fans, my brother will make a great head coach and the program won’t skip a beat.” I worried because wasn’t that the same brother who went 7-15 at Fordham? Or was he talking about another brother? The guy before him (Dave Clawson) and the guy after him (Joe Moorhead) were two of the most successful head coaches in Fordham history. They hit a bump in the road in the middle. I don’t want Temple hitting any bumps in the road.

  4. Geoff will do well and move up, so we can deal with it. I thought Ed Foley might be a long-term coach because of his roots. Could Ed redeem himself? Tom Pajic? Can Tu attract another HOF coach like St. Wayne? Manny’s is one of the best courses in America and a membership is open.

    • You’ve got to have “the right stuff” to be a head coach. Foley is a good assistant coach. Some guys are career assistants. Those are two different jobs. Some guys are great checkers at Acme but would make terrible store managers. Same principle with assistants and head coaches. I want a guy who did it as a head coach at a slightly lower level (Mac, Sun Belt) over a long period of time or a guy like Golden, who saw the grass as greener on the other side of the fence before realizing that the concrete at 10th and Diamond was where should have been all along. I think UConn hit a home run with Edsall because he knows how to win there and won’t be as likely to leave the second time as he was the first. I would not have minded Temple going with Golden using the same logic, but we have Collins and it looks like he’s looking to use Temple as a steppingstone. That’s the college football world we live in, unfortunately.

  5. Mike you’ve said several times now that you would have liked to have Golden back as HC. I loved what he did for the program by cleaning things from what the program was at the time he took over. He obviously was a very organized CEO for the team. But he was not a very good game-day coach and his record showed it – never beating a winning MAC team is a pretty poor record. If he hired really good coordinators and let them call the shots during games, then yeah. He is also a great recruiter. Let’s just hope Collins turns out to be what he seems like he can be whether it’s just for a couple-3 seasons. But I’d hate to see things sink again and the BOT sit on their asses until his contract is up. There’s a real chance to keep success going right now and that should be the focus.

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