Friday, August 10, 2012

New TU President: Success in BE a priority

Board of Trustees chairman Pat  O'Connor introduces Neil  Theobald.

“Looking at the fundraising program, how do we expand that, what’s our strategy, how do we make contact with people — that’ll be number one. Then, how do we make the athletic program successful in the Big East, that’s a very important step."
_ Dr. Neil D. Theobald, President-elect, Temple
While this week at 10th and Diamond was dedicated to the short-term success of Temple's football program, possibly the best indication of the long-term future of the program came on Tuesday.
That's the day Dr. Neil D. Theobald was introduced as the new president of Temple University.
I must say I was a big advocate of Ed Rendell for the job because of the former Governor's immediate identification as a "Joe Philadelphia" fan, the kind of subway alumni Temple football must attract to sustain success.
Still, I was impressed by Theobald's first press conference at Mitten Hall when he listed "success in the Big East" as one of his top two priorities in office.
Theobald, a lifelong baseball fan, hit one out of the park with that comment.
As someone who lived through a Temple president who cared little about athletics (err, David Adamany), the correlation of priorities from the top and results on the field often coincide.
Temple University now has a $17 million practice facility that is more than adequate to succeed in a Big East environment and that was funded by a Board of Trustees that understands the importance of success in big-time college football.
Bloomington Herald-Times likes Temple's choice.

Temple now has all of the pieces in place to be successful in the Big East in the two marquee sports, football and men's basketball. A great BOT, a great president and, more importantly, great coaches in Steve Addazio and Fran Dunphy.
Addazio and Dunphy can work for anybody, but they chose Temple because of that kind of support from the top and because they are Temple-type people: Hard-working, sincere, honest and genuine.
"Coach Addazio is the realist (sic) coach who ever lived," Oakland Raiders' wide receiver Rod Streater said, paying Daz perhaps the highest compliment a player can pay a coach.
I think Theobald would like Daz and Dunphy and vice-versa.
I'm sure Theobald would want to be successful in baseball, too, but that's not a high-profile sport at the collegiate level.
I'm all for Temple being succcessful in everything but, if I had my druthers, I'd take football first and men's basketball second.
Those are my priorities.
It looks like those are Theobald's, too.