Dunphy on Temple cuts to athletics programs
Fran Dunphy was named head coach of the men's basketball team at Temple in 2006. (USA Today Images)
As Temple basketball is trying to shake off a loss to Texas on Saturday (see story), the rest of the university is still trying to deal with the loss of seven of its athletic programs.
Temple athletic director Kevin Clark on Friday announced that the university will no longer sponsor seven varsity sports -- baseball, softball, men's rowing, women's rowing, men's gymnastics and men's indoor/outdoor track and field -- effective July 1, 2014.
The cuts affect 150 student-athletes and will cost nine head coaches their jobs (see story).
Following Temple's 81-80 overtime loss at Wells Fargo Center, Temple basketball coach Fran Dunphy was asked to respond to the university's decision.
"You feel for everybody involved," Dunphy said. "Everybody, from the student-athletes to the coaches of those teams to the administration for making a very difficult decision.
"Nobody feels good about it, so you feel very much for those young people."
Temple was one of only two schools in the American Athletic Conference -- along with UConn -- that was sponsoring 24 varsity sports. The cuts drop Temple's number now to 17, in line with the conference's other members who offer between 16 and 19 sports.
Temple opted to join the Big East in March 2012 in an effort to improve the stature of its football and basketball teams. But the Big East broke up and Temple wound up in the American.
Clark said Friday that tightening budgets, the need to get Title IX complaint, and the state of the university's facilities for the programs being dropped were all factors in the decision.
He met with students Friday to inform them of the university's decision. All of them will be allowed to keep their scholarships and will be given the choice to transfer to other schools that still sponsor their respective programs without having to sit out a year.
"Our first concern, now and in the future, is the academic and athletic experience of our student-athletes," Clark said. "We will work with those affected by this decision to ensure their success either here at Temple or at other universities."
The budget cuts will save Temple between $3 and $3.5 million from its approximately $41 million athletics budgets.
"Reducing the number of sports will mean athletics can invest more into the student-athletes, staff and facilities for the remaining Olympic sports, and offer the best possible learning and competitive environment,” Clark said.