Big East Discussion

The Temple News supports the move back to the Big East Conference.

If Temple is indeed about to become an all-sports member of the Big East Conference, the athletic department’s journey from the laughingstock to a legitimate presence in the world of college sports will have come full circle. Eleven years after the football team was voted out of the Big East after years of on-the-field futility and an off-the-field lack of commitment to athletics from university administration, the Owls are looking at a chance to return to a conference that had banished them.

Unequivocally, The Temple News would call such a return a major victory for the university. Students will be able to see the Owls play elite competition in all sports. Athletics will also have the opportunity to bring in significantly more revenue, as Brian Dzenis and John Moritz report in “Move to Big East develops” on page 1.

However, a return to the Big East doesn’t mean that it’s time to celebrate, this is where the real work begins for the athletics. The Temple News has a to-do list for athletics upon entering the Big East:

Goal number one is maximizing the amount of scholarships athletics can offer. Former athletics CFO Eric Roedl told The Temple News in April 2011 that some of Temple’s sports teams could not give out a full number of scholarships that’s allowed by the NCAA because of a lack of funding. Athletics’ mission statement said that it is committed to providing student athletes opportunities to “maximize their athletic, academic and life-skill potential.” With the additional revenue coming in, increasing the amount of scholarships Temple can provide should be a priority.

Goal number two involves reducing the amount university funds needed to subsidize athletics. This year, athletics will likely not generate enough revenue to cover even a third of its approximately $29 million in overall expenses. The biggest issue in college sports is that expenses are growing at a disproportionate rate to revenues and even if Temple is bringing in more revenue, it won’t help if expenses are also growing exponentially. The Owls have shown in previous years that they can win on a budget and that mentality needs to continue while they are members of the Big East.

Temple has received a second chance at being an elite athletic power and cannot take this opportunity for granted. Becoming a big time program brings big time expectations, both on and off the field.

1 Comment

  1. $6,000,000 payment to leave the MAC conference… While Temple’s educational state assistance has dramatically shrunk and you are calling for more scholarships for athletes on the backs of paying students… Irregardless, Temple Football has been a blackhole of funding and will continue to drain precious resources over the coming years. But, of course, to attact talent, you have to pay the big bucks!

    I hope that Big East acceptance will allow for some sort of parity when it comes to profit sharing and ticket sales. Eitherway, I am still pretty excited about them joining, but still feel bad for the current students who will have to foot the bill. Go OWLS!

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