Move to Big East will be profitable for Temple

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Move to Big East will be profitable for Temple

After weeks of negotiations, deliberations and plain frustrations, Temple is moving up in the college athletics world.

Eight years after being asked to leave the Big East Conference, the Owls are heading back. They will compete in football beginning with the 2012 season and become a full member in 2013-14, elevating their national profile and bringing greater financial reward to their athletic department.

The Executive Committee of Temples Board of Trustees voted Wednesday morning to accept the Big Easts invitation. Though many believed and erroneously reported that the Owls would return to the Big East weeks ago, negotiations with Temples current sporting homes, the Mid-American Conference for football and the Atlantic 10 for everything else, dragged on.

The MAC was particularly ornery, given that it would be losing a member about six months before the start of its gridiron season, and demanded the standard exit fee of 2.5 million be increased to 6 million.

"It's been no secret that Temple has wanted to be in the Big East across the board for many, many years," MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher told the Associated Press.

Temple will share that cost with the Big East, which will foot half of the bill and provide an interest-free loan for the remainder, which Temple will pay off over three years. Despite the cost of Temples gaining freedom from the MAC, Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick J. OConnor insists that this move will not be financially onerous for Temple.

The deal that we signed will be very cash positive for Temple, next year and beyond, OConnor said. In the MAC, we were revenue neutral. We were probably losing money.

According to OConnor, Temple will clear 3 million for football beginning next year, even with the loan payment made to the Big East. Every year after the debt to the conference is satisfied will yield a profit of between 3-7 million. And thats before the conference renegotiates its current television deal, a situation triggered by the Big Easts new configuration. OConnor estimates that the schools affiliation with the conference in mens basketball will net about 2.5 million a year, before any renegotiation.

Before Temple officially could be accepted, a Big East school had to put forward the motion to take a vote. As it turned out, Villanova, which allegedly had fought Temples inclusion, was the member to do so.

We welcome Temple to the Big East family, head mens basketball coach Jay Wright said in a statement released by the school. "Temple and Villanova will work well together to ensure the Big Easts status as an elite conference and to make Philadelphia a great Big East city. We look forward to adding new chapters to our great rivalry with Temple in the years to come.

Temple becomes the Big Easts eighth football playing member and replaces West Virginia, which is paying 20 million to join the Big 12 in the fall. After next school year, Pittsburgh and Syracuse will leave the conference, and Boise State, San Diego State, Central Florida, Southern Methodist, Houston and Memphis will come aboard in 2013 for football, creating new rivalries Temple is excited about (see story). That will give the Big East 12 gridiron members and allow it to stage a championship game, while also providing some extra heft as the BCS considers its options beyond 13.

Michael Bradley has covered Philadelphia and national college sports for 25 years. His video segment, the Collegiate Corner, runs regularly on CSNPhilly.com. He also contributes to Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, Phillymag.com and Yahoo! Sports Radio.

Baylor to fire football coach Briles, re-assign president

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Baylor to fire football coach Briles, re-assign president

WACO, Texas -- Baylor University's board of regents said Thursday that it will fire football coach Art Briles and re-assign university President Kenneth Starr amid questions over the school's handling of sexual assault complaints against players.

The nation's largest Baptist university said in a statement Thursday that it had suspended Briles "with intent to terminate." Starr will leave the position of president on May 31, but the school says he will serve as chancellor.

The university also placed athletic director Ian McCaw on probation.

Baylor asked a law firm last year to conduct a review of its handling of sexual assault cases following allegations that the football program mishandled several cases of players attacking women.

The university's statement said the review revealed "a fundamental failure."

Baylor has faced increasing criticism in recent months for its handling of reports of rape and other violent incidents involving football players and students. One victim has sued the university, saying it was deliberately indifferent to her allegations against a former player who was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting her.

Starr ordered an investigation last year but has been mostly silent amid mounting criticism over the school's handling of the complaints, which erupted under his leadership. He took over as the university's president in 2010, about a decade after the former prosecutor investigated former President Clinton's sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewisnky.

The football team, whose players were at the center of the upheaval, enjoyed unprecedented success under Briles' tenure, including two Big 12 championships in the last three years. That success brought a financial windfall, and in 2014, Baylor opened a new, $250-million on-campus football stadium. But Briles' program has also been criticized for recruiting or accepting transfer players without regard to the harm they might cause fellow students.

Starr rode the waves of the program's success, and often ran on the football field with Baylor students in pregame ceremonies. But as investigations began into the school's handling of sexual assault allegations against players, Starr provided only brief comments, even as criticism of the school mounted.

In a February statement issued by university, Starr said "our hearts break for those whose lives are impacted by execrable acts of sexual violence." And at a prayer breakfast last month, Starr told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "I am in favor of transparency. Stand up, take your medicine if you made a mistake."

Baylor's Board of Regents was recently briefed by a law firm hired to investigate how the school responded to assault incidents, and the school on Thursday released a summary of its findings. Starr initiated the review in 2015, after former football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexually assaulting a female soccer player.

Ukwuachu, who was convicted in 2015, transferred to Baylor after he was dismissed from Boise State. Ukwuachu's former girlfriend testified during his rape trial in Texas that he had struck and choked her when he attended Boise State.

Ukwuachu's former coach, Chris Peterson, now the coach at Washington, said he "thoroughly apprised" Briles about the circumstances of Ukuwachu's dismissal. Briles disputed that account, saying he talked with Peterson and there was no mention of the incident.

The school is also facing a federal lawsuit from a former student claiming the school was "deliberately indifferent" to rape allegations levied at a former football player Tevin Elliott, who was convicted in 2014 of sexually assaulting the woman.

The uproar following Ukwuachu's conviction caused Baylor to initiate the review by the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, and to announce a $5 million effort to improve efforts on how it responds to sexual assault, including adding another investigator and more staff.

But the Ukwuachu case was just the start of months of revelations of football players being involved in violent incidents with little or no repercussions. At least seven other woman have publicly come forward to say the school ignored their sexual assault allegations.

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Josh Hart discusses NBA draft process, returning to Villanova

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Josh Hart discusses NBA draft process, returning to Villanova

Josh Hart said the decision wasn’t easy.

But he’s happy with it.

After withdrawing his name from the NBA draft to return to school (see story), Hart is excited to focus on Villanova, graduation and then the NBA dream.

“I love the school, I love the teachers, the student body, the support, my teammates that we have coming back,” the 6-foot-5 guard said Wednesday on Comcast SportsNet’s Philly Sports Talk. “So it was a tough one and I just thought at the end of the day, I think going back for my senior year would be in the best interest of my parents and myself.”

As a junior, Hart helped Villanova win its second national championship in program history by leading the Wildcats in scoring with 15.5 points per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field.

Hart received plenty of feedback from NBA teams. He said shooting and ball handling are what he hopes to improve.

As far as his draft stock …

“There were teams interested maybe in the first [round], and then there were teams that said they would take me in the second,” Hart said. “But there’s a whole month before the draft, a lot of teams didn’t know exactly what they were doing with their picks — whether they were trying to trade up for a pick, trying to trade down, trying to trade a pick for a player. Several teams said that they would take me.”

For more from Hart on the draft and Villanova, watch the video above.

Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

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Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

Delaware has its new head basketball coach in Martin Ingelsby.

Ingelsby, a native of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, comes from Notre Dame, where he played from 1997-2001 and coached for 13 seasons, seven as an assistant.

Ingelsby played his high school ball at Archbishop Carroll and is the son of Tom Ingelsby, who played for Villanova from 1970-73.

Delaware is coming off a 7-23 season and 2-16 mark in CAA play, which led to the firing of head coach Monte Ross.

The Blue Hens, who announced the hire Tuesday, will formally introduce Ingelsby in a press conference Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Bob Carpenter Center Auditorium.