Temple’s football team has a lot to be proud of this year.
After beating in-state rival Penn State for the first time since 1941, the Owls have continued their undefeated season into October. The team has been enjoying its best start in 41 years, and deserves respect for its success thus far.
At the same time, two of its current active players face a court case that could land each individual up to 20 years in prison.
Dion Dawkins and Haason Reddick were arrested for aggravated assault and other charges March 16. The city’s District Attorney’s office argued both were responsible for serious injuries to former student Benjamin Wood, who intervened in a fight between Reddick and his friend, Delonte Stancil, at Club 1800 in Northern Liberties Jan. 18.
The football team suspended both players soon after the arrest, and said it would await the results of the investigation for further action. The Temple News has been following the case through its duration. In April, aggravated assault charges were dropped against both players at a preliminary hearing.
In May, the District Attorney’s office decided to refile charges, which the court accepted. The issue of players competing in a Division I sport despite serious criminal charges is a problem regardless of who the players are—however, the fact Dawkins and Reddick regularly play certainly doesn’t help the team’s image.
An athletic department spokesman told The Temple News the players’ status remains unchanged, despite the fact they will now face a trial.
We don’t know what exactly occurred at Club 1800 nine months ago, but the court allowed a first-degree felony charge to be refiled against two football players. The program’s inaction shows it favors players’ performance on the field more than their character off it.