It may be for only one more season, but the Temple football team plans on playing in the Big East football conference.
The Big East voted recently to kick Temple out of the conference after 10 failed seasons. Temple has never finished the season higher than second-to-last. When the conference presidents met a few weeks ago, Temple needed two votes to stay in the Big East.
It didn’t get them.
The decision was first leaked out by a high-ranking conference official on Wednesday, March 30 and it sent shockwaves through the Temple athletics community.
The day after the announcement, Thursday, March 1, a group from the board of trustees met to discuss the situation. Chairman Howard Gittis emerged from the meeting, which included Dr. David Adamany, and said he had yet to hear any official word from the Big East.
There was speculation before the meeting that Temple may have to drop the program or go down to Division I-AA. Gittis said, and has stuck to it, that Temple will remain behind playing football on the Division-I level.
The next day, the Big East made the official announcement that Temple’s membership would end after the 2001 season.
“We will continue to play Division I football as a member of the Big East conference,” Adamany said in a statement that day. “We are confident that the Big East Conference is an honorable organization that will recognize the accomplishments of the Temple football team…”
Temple finished last season with a 4-7 record going 1-6 in the conference. Under head coach Bobby Wallace, the team has made strives of improvement and recently signed 31 players to letters of intent. The current recruiting class is considered one of the best in Temple history.
What Temple will do after next season is a mystery. Temple has not backed down from its attempts at remaining in the Big East. Membership pays Temple, and the rest of the conference, $2 million every season to keep the program running.
Possibilities include moving to Conference-USA or the Mid-Atlantic Conference. Both would supply Temple with teams to play but not the same money as the Big East, money Temple needs to keep the program running.