Report: Temple ''Wants In" the Big East

Report: Temple ''Wants In" the Big East

As reported by the Daily News' Mike Kern earlier this morning, Temple University has made clear to conference officials its interest in potentially joining the Big East. Kern's report indicates that Temple's No. 1 preference would be to join as an all-sports member, but that the university might well be willing to settle for a football-only invitation.

And so, rather than sitting back and playing the waiting game, it seems Temple has gone out made its own intentions known. While the story has a "big feel" about it based on the barrage of media coverage surrounding the move over the past few weeks, it's nothing to get radically excited about just yet.

When it comes to Temple football possibly rejoining its former conference, clearly the Big East is a step up from the MAC, but its hard to say just how much of a step it really is, or will be. After all, the renewed interest between Temple and the Big East is largely motivated by the fact that the conference is hemorrhaging programs and needs new schools to hopefully stop further bleeding.

Though it is a BCS conference, its generally considered a step below the Big 10, SEC, PAC(whatever it is now, I don't know)-74, what for the time-being is still the Big-12 and now perhaps even the new ACC. On top of everything else, there's been rumors of the Big East potentially partnering up with remnants of the Big-12, assuming Texas and Oklahoma are on their way out, to possibly create a pseduo-super-conference of its own.

So, yeah, it is a step up from the MAC, but it remains to see just far of a step. In this case, there is an equal fear of becoming the next TCU and being the school burnt by inaction.

As for basketball, assuming the school could be admitted as full-member, its hard not to love the move for the Owls—assuming the conference can stay together for round ball. Let's approach this from the perspective of a best case scenario, since the worst case is evidently a wholesale dissolution of the current programs.

A program that has quickly regained some of the national traction lost under the final years of John Chaney, Temple would figure to inherit the "Big East" recruiting bump that Villanova has so enjoyed these past few years. Though the loss of Syracuse and Pitt have shifted the balance of power to the ACC, the Big East remains one of the premiere basketball conferences in the country.

For a Temple team that is "very good" and looking to become "great," the move could do wonders. One need look most recently to the Daniel Ochefu snafu to see evidence of what Temple has lost and could gain. Ochefu, a 6-9 center from Westtown, PA, was recruited heavily by Temple, but ultimately chose Villanova and a college career in Big East basketball. Leveling the playing field would make a great judge of talent like Fran Dunphy even more effective in landing desired recruits. Add to that membership in the Big East, home games in the Liacouras Center and a brand new multi-million dollar practice facility, and Temple starts looking like a real good destination for a kid to play his college ball—and just as good as, say, Villanova.

If you're a fan of Temple or 'Nova or just particularly interested in the future viability of the Big East, then keep an eye on the UCONN Huskies. UCONN has stayed relatively quiet nationally when it comes to its prospective future in the Big East, and its president has repeatedly indicated a desire toward protecting the stature of the school's current conference. The quality of that conference over the next few years could lie in whether the Huskies stay the course and remain loyal to their current commitment, or jump ship like near-identical athletic institutions Pitt and Syracuse.

Still, as was said up front, there is nothing to get excited about just yet. Temple is the one indicating its interest in the Big East; it is not the other way around...for now.

The Big East could use a school like Temple add some new blood and hopefully reassure its existing programs—specifically, UCONN—that times will be good after all. Because, right now, for all but a few top schools in the Big East and Big-12, it's hard not to get that "we were dead before the ship even sank" kind of feeling.

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

The Eagles have brought back a familiar face to take Ron Brooks' roster spot.

On Monday, the team claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart off waivers from San Francisco. Hart was just waived on Saturday by the 49ers, who claimed him after the Eagles waived him at final cuts.

So, Hart is coming back to Philly after a stint with Chip Kelly in San Francisco.

Hart, 25, played in one game for the 49ers this year. The Eagles are light at defensive tackle thanks to Bennie Logan's groin injury. While head coach Doug Pederson on Monday said Logan was getting better, the Eagles still brought in more depth by claiming Hart.

While still with the Eagles, Kelly had a hand in drafting Hart, an Oregon product, in the fifth round of 2014.

Hart worked hard this offseason to learn how to play in Jim Schwartz's aggressive 4-3 defense, which is very unlike the ones he had played in during college and in the NFL.

Brooks has been placed on IR after rupturing a quad tendon during Sunday's game against the Vikings. He'll have surgery this week.

In addition to adding Hart to the active roster, the Eagles also added cornerback Aaron Grymes to their practice squad.

Grymes, 25, was having an impressive training camp and preseason with the Eagles before injuring his right shoulder. He was waived shortly after that.

After coming out of the University of Idaho in 2013, Grymes didn't make an NFL team so he went to Canada. He ended up as a starter and All-Star on the Edmonton Eskimos and won a Grey Cup in 2015.

To make room for Grymes, the Eagles cut OL Matt Rotheram from the practice squad.