Top 10 Sports stories of 2023

From Athletics’ struggles to keep up to a Philadelphia native choosing to stay home, here are the most impactful Sports stories from 2023.

Temple guard Hysier Miller is one of two local high school athletes to play at Temple. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

This year was marked by Temple Athletics struggles with Name, Image, and Likeness, struggles with local recruiting and a former cornerback’s search for redemption after almost suffering a career-ending injury. 

The Temple News Sports staff has compiled a list of our top 10 most significant stories in 2023:

1. “The outcome is the outcome”: Temple Athletics struggles to financially adapt 

By Samuel O’Neal and Declan Landis

Andy Carl is one of the leaders of the TUFF Fund, an NIL collective for Temple athletes. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Since Name, Image and Likeness was passed in 2021, Temple Athletics has fallen behind many of its counterparts and is now trying to tread above water and find other ways to compete. At the time, the TUFF Fund, Temple’s lone NIL collective, had struggled to receive any donations from former Temple football and basketball players. However, in the days after The Temple News published this piece The TUFF Fund received more donors than it had in the previous three months. It also received its first donation from a former basketball player from guard Shizz Alston.

2. Richardson utilizes family culture to rebuild Women’s Basketball 

By Declan Landis 

Temple Women’s Basketball head coach Diane Richardson recruits high-level talent by establishing strong relationships with players and their families. | ERIKA MONN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Women’s Basketball head coach Diane Richardson entered her second season as the team’s coach in 2023. Throughout her years in basketball, Richardson has coached many different teams and many different players, but through it all she has found that coaching with love and care is her preferred coaching style.

3. Darrah’s traumatic diagnosis helped shape career

By Nick Gangewere

Edward Darrah, a Mental Health and Performance Counselor for Temple Athletics, in the Liacouras Center tunnel near the locker rooms. | JARED TATZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Edward Darrah, a mental health and performance counselor for Temple Athletics, was diagnosed with a brain tumor that nearly cost him his eyesight in 2015. The diagnosis taught Darrah to find ways to stay motivated, and he uses what he learned through his trauma with his patients to this day.  

4. ‘They want to experience more’: Why Philadelphia recruits aren’t staying home

By Samuel O’Neal 

Despite being well-known for its basketball talent, high school players from Philadelphia have recently decided to play at colleges away from the city. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Despite a history of success for the local athletes, it’s become increasingly rare to see local high school athletes play basketball at Temple. In 2009, seven of the 15 Owls on the roster were from either Philadelphia or the local surrounding area. In 2023, just two players on Temple’s roster fit that criteria. Local high school athletes have received better financial opportunities from schools outside of Philadelphia that Big 5 schools can not compete with. The recent play on the court from Philadelphia universities have been lackluster, which could also be a deterrent for local athletes to come to play in their hometown. 

5. Duffy’s rise from Division I football to the NFL

By Johnny Zawislak 

The former Temple Football video coordinator has become one of the faces of the Philadelphia Eagles’ media team. | JOCELYN HOCKADAY / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Former Temple football video coordinator, Fran Duffy, took an unprecedented route to achieving a role with his hometown football team, the Philadelphia Eagles. Through his hard work, dedication and a little bit of luck, Duffy was awarded a position with the Eagles as a football analyst, despite never playing the sport.

6. From the roots of tragedy, professor gives back to team 

By Ryan Mack 

Dr. Scott Gratson’s honorary boat will be named “The Professor.” | COURTESY / SCOTT GRATSON

Scott Gratson, Temple’s director of communication studies at the Klein College of Media and Communication, recently turned to crew, a sport that his late friend introduced him to. Gratson has attended multiple Temple Crew tournaments and regattas throughout the years. In 2021 Hurricane Ida destroyed the Temple crew team boathouse and the equipment inside. After the incident, Gratson showed his appreciation for the team by donating money for a boat.

7. Cameron Ruiz’s search for redemption 

By Rymir Vaughn 

Cameron Ruiz, former Temple cornerback, blocks a player from the University of Memphis an at Owls’ game at Lincoln Financial Field on Oct. 2. | ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In February 2022 former Temple cornerback Cameron Ruiz suffered a hip injury that was similar to former NFL running back Bo Jackson’s injury in 1991. Following open hip surgery, Ruiz used a walker to get around and had to relearn how to walk, run and jump. After not seeing much playing time in the 2022 season, Ruiz was preparing to enter the 2023 NFL Draft in April 2023. 

8. Tristen Taylor’s early success leads to new nickname and mentorship

 By Colin Schofield

Tristen Taylor is a huge part of the Temple’s team as a freshman. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Women’s Basketball freshman guard Tristen Taylor has made an early impression on her teammates and the coaching staff. At the beginning of the 2023 season, Taylor’s playstyle reminded the coaching staff of current starting point guard Aleah Nelson, which led to Taylor’s nickname ‘mini-Aleah’.

9. Temple kicker Camden Price found his purpose in kicking field goals

 By Declan Landis 

Temple Football kicker Camden Price is used this past season to make a difference after launching his Kick for a Cause campaign. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In April, Temple Football kicker Camden Price was introduced to the ALS Hope Foundation, and later that summer Price started a fundraiser that allowed people to pledge and donate toward the patient’s care for every point Price scored in 2023, giving the kicker added incentive to score points for a good cause. 

10. Temple guard Stanford chooses home city to “put on” for Philadelphia

By Rymir Vaughn 

Zion Stanford going through his free throw routine during Temple’s Big 5 battle against Drexel University. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Men’s Basketball Freshman guard Zion Stanford 11 different college offers, and despite a coaching change for the program, he decided to stay close to home so that he could ‘put on’ for his city. Stanford has already made an early impact on the Owls in the early part of the season, showing an offensive presence and defensive improvements.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.