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New Temple President Commits to Football Program

Updated: 5 days ago


Temple Owls
©Andy Lewis/USA TODAY NETWORK

Temple University’s new president, John A. Fry, who was announced as the new president on July 3, now has to face scrutiny for a previous op-ed he wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2016 while serving as the president of Drexel University. In the piece entitled, “We’re Glad We Say No to College Football," Fry said Drexel benefitted from not having a college football program.



Future of Temple Football

Despite his previous statements, Fry told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he has "no preconceived notions and not plans to end the football program." Considering his previous concerns, Fry will now have to deal with the evolving landscape of college football.


In his 2016 article Fry wrote that there was a disconnect between college athletics and academics.


"Athletic spending increased by 25 percent at public four-year colleges between 2004 and 2011, adjusted for inflation," Fry wrote. "Funding for instruction and academic support remained nearly flat.”



In today's NCAA the spending on collegiate athletics is only increasing.


A 2023 NCAA report stated that “Division I institutions reported spending over $17 billion dollars on athletics in 2022, 24 percent more than the previous year. The 65 FBS autonomy schools accounted for over 50 percent of total Division I expenses.”



So, if Fry was worried about the expenditures of college football back in 2016—in his case and for many administrators' cases—the price of college football is becoming increasingly expensive with the addition of NIL and the transfer portal


Temple Owls
© Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of his op-ed, wrote about defending Drexel’s decision not to have a football program.


"Our student athletes in other sports win conference championships; many of our teams are nationally ranked," Fry wrote. "Our Division I athletic programs create a strong sense of pride on campus. But we focus entirely and exclusively on our mission: delivering a high-quality education for all students.”



Winning Is the Goal

In all of the FBS and FCS programs, the goal is the same—to win a championship. There is a source of pride regardless of the school. When it comes to high-quality education, there are a number of FBS programs that are winning championships and still graduating students with degrees. 


Regarding the visibility that student-athletes gain from their athletic endeavors—it is self-explanatory. When a highly-visible student-athlete takes to social media to promote themselves, they are also promoting the universities they play for. Therefore, schools can have the best of both worlds of athletics and academia.


For now, at least, Temple Owls fans should not be concerned about the school’s new president's past comments regarding the state of college athletics and college football. 


However, we will see in the course of Fry's presidency how much his change in tone on the state of the football program is actually reflected.




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