By Tim Jimenez
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Temple’s Board of Trustees voted to save two of the seven varsity sports from the chopping block Monday afternoon. This comes nearly three months after the board first voted on the cuts.
Thanks to a $5 million dollar plan to restore the school’s condemned boathouse, rowing and crew will stay alive.
The Board approved a plan to renovate the “East Park Canoe House”, condemned since 2008. School officials say Trustee Gerry Lenfest will give $3 million for the project, the rest coming from the city. Freshman rower Samantha Sederstrand is relieved but:
“At the same time I have friends on other teams and it’s just heartbreaking to see how their reaction is to everything,” she said.
Board Chairman Patrick O’Connor spoke about what this means to the athletics budget.
“The $44 million budget will remain the same. The allocation of the $44 million be reapplied to improve the remainder sports here,” O’Connor said.
Baseball, softball, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field still face elimination, along with men’s gymnastics (see previous story).
“We want to be college athletes. Working, for myself, for 17 years, it’s a long time. A big part of my life,” Sophomore gymnast Evan Eigner said.
Those teams tried to plead their case, but school President Neil Theobald says their efforts were short-term fixes, not looking at the big picture, citing costs, Title IX and facilities. But baseball dad John McCarthy says the decision makers just don’t get it.
“Couple of trustees came up, well we appreciate your pain. But that doesn’t do these kids any good,” McCarthy said.
O’Connor said solving the problem requires more than just money and they’re looking out, not just for student-athletes, but for the University as a whole.
“This board could throw a lot of money at it. We could have 24 programs. We could have great fields – fields of dreams. But the point is it costs a great deal of money. And since we have limited assets, we have to decide how to allocate those resources,” he said.