News With Commentary by TSL Staff
March 1, 2001
Big East to Oust Temple Football
In a surprising development, the presidents of the schools in the Big East Football Conference have voted to expel the Temple Owls, perhaps as early as the 2001 season.
The league presidents held a special meeting in New Jersey last month to discuss the matter of Temple football, and it was at this meeting that the Owls were apprised of the decision.
Mark Blaudschun of The Boston Globe broke the news in an article that ran yesterday:
Temple to leave Big East football -- The Boston Globe, 2/28/2001
The Big East Football Conference laid down minimum requirements for membership several years ago, with the two most prominent requirements being that a school must be the primary tenant of their football stadium, and that minimum home attendance requirements must be met. The Owls met neither requirement over the years, and the league presidents voted to give them the boot.
In an Associated Press wire report, Big East senior associate commissioner Thomas McElroy said Wednesday night during Boston College's basketball game against St. John's, "They (Temple) have not, since 1996, fulfilled our criteria for membership. Our presidents have informed Temple that since they have not been in compliance, they are going to discontinue their affiliation with the conference. The decision has been made."
Meanwhile, OwlScoop.com, which covers Temple athletics, is reporting that the action is immediate (Temple will not play in the conference next year) and that the Owls will receive a multi-million dollar "severance package" from the league:
Big East boots Owls -- OwlScoop.com, 2/28/2001
The author of the OwlScoop.com article, Shawn Pastor, also added some notes from the rumor mill in a message board post that he made on OwlScoop.com's message board:
Here's what I've heard ... -- Shawn Pastor, 2/28/2001
Pastor includes some interesting notes in his message board post, which he believes to be true but will not vouch for 100%:
The Temple Board of Trustees will meet at 3:00 this afternoon to discuss the future of the Temple football program. The Owls have the options of finding another conference or dropping down to 1-AA, where they could join the Atlantic 10 for football (the Owls already compete in the Atlantic 10 for all other sports).
For more, see Will Stewart's column A Tough But Necessary Move.