Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather

News Nuggets, 10.09.04
 —  —  —  —  —

Previous Day Nuggets...             Next Day Nuggets...

Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Future looks lonely for Temple Owls football


10.08.04: Golden Eagles claw out overtime win over Houston
— ESPN2 HD to debut with C-USA doubleheader ... More...
10.07.04: Southern Miss road warriors back home for primetime ... Louisville building $10 million baseball stadium ... More...
10.06.04: Reported dispute with coach nets suspension for ECU's Fox ... Holtz sanctions receiver over academic issues ... More...
10.05.04: Billikens' 15-game TV package includes visit to Minges
— Loss yanks West Virginia back down to earth ... More...
10.04.04: College football weekend: stars & storylines ... C-USA standings, scoreboard, schedule & TV ... AP college football poll ... More...
10.03.04: Gamecocks spring surprise in Tuscaloosa ... Pioneer Hayden Fry to receive Stagg award ... More...
10.02.04: Memphis hopes to shed first half doldrums against Houston ... Joy of winning may be short-lived for SMU ... More...
10.01.04: Punishing regimen hardens Louisville's defense ... Gamecocks' "Pops" goes late night ... Ross's challenge at Army proves to be a daunting one ... More...
09.30.04: Deja Vu ECU? Florida A&M prez fired amidst turmoil ... Marshall hangs on to break into win column ... Pessimism wanes at SMU after long skid ends ... More...
09.29.04: Herd trying to head off worst start in decades ... C-USA standings, scoreboard, schedule & TV ... AP college football poll ... More...
09.28.04: Bearcat sack artist honored for disrupting Pirates ... C-USA teams pepper preseason hoops poll ... More...
09.27.04: No Nuggets posted because of technical issues.
09.26.04: Gamecocks formally unveil "Pops" in win over Troy ... Major football, baseball changes under study ... More...
09.25.04: Duke dealing with meager home crowds, QB issues ... Bush inks legislation targeting shady agents ... More...
09.24.04: NCAA gives thumbs up to South Carolina's "Pops" ... Imperfect Miami manages win at Houston ... Hula Bowl's future in question ... More...

PHILADELPHIA — Temple's futility is startling even by the most awful standards.

There are the 13 straight losing seasons, no bowl games since 1979, six one-win seasons in the last 15 years and five times since 1992 the Owls failed to win a conference game. The Owls spent most of the last two decades without a permanent home and crowds were as sparse as the victories.

It gets worse.

Big East teams decided it was no longer worth the automatic win to keep the Owls around. The conference gave the Owls a shove out of the nest and told them to look elsewhere to get kicked around.

That was in March 2001. Time has run out for the Owls who start their final Big East season Saturday against Pittsburgh. Even a conference that only months ago was fighting for teams to stay wouldn't give the Owls another chance.

The Owls are now looking for a home.

``Temple may have been the only D-I member ever ousted from a league,'' Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said.

The Owls now face life as an independent, if the program even stays around at all. Temple created a task force examining the viability of all its teams, with football — for once — on top.

The reason for the eviction: The Owls didn't meet minimum requirements for membership, most notably in attendance, facilities and fielding a competitive team. Plus, Temple never had all its teams in the Big East, including men and women's basketball which plays in the Atlantic 10.

``We have to make an honest evaluation of where we want to be and if we're willing to make the commitments necessary to do that,'' said Bradshaw, who was not the AD at the time Temple was axed from the Big East.

Temple tried to spruce up the program. The Owls built a state of the art practice facility at their north campus that opened in 2001 and reached a deal last year with the Philadelphia Eagles to play all home games at Lincoln Financial Field.

Attendance has always been a problem and playing in an NFL stadium was supposed to be a draw.

Instead, the Owls were 85th in the country last year out of 117 Division I teams. Still, it was better than in 2001 when they were 94th out of 115 teams.

The record certainly hasn't helped.

The Owls haven't had a winning record since they went 7-4 under Jerry Berndt in 1990 and had only one winning season in the 1980s (6-5, 1984). The Owls failed to win a game in 1986 and are 1-4 this year, including a 70-16 loss last week at home to Bowling Green.

It was one of many humbling and disheartening games for Bobby Wallace, who's coached the Owls since 1998. Wallace has never won more than four games and had only 18 overall entering Saturday.

``I felt if we came in and got the job done it would be a great accomplishment,'' Wallace said.

But Wallace acknowledges getting booted was a blow to Temple's recruiting and self-esteem. So Wallace turned to junior college players, selling them on the fact that they could play in an NFL stadium and in the Big East for at least two years.

As for high school prospects, Wallace admits the Owls are often going after kids with few scholarship offers.

With one more year left on his contract, Wallace needs a miraculous turnaround to get another. Still, Bradshaw is pleased with how Wallace has handled daunting circumstances.

Temple senior linebacker Troy Bennett said the future could be bleak without conference affiliation.

``I'm pretty sure it'll be tough for the guys that are here from years to come,'' Bennett said. ``Friends and family will be asking them what conference they're going to, what's going on. I'm sure there will be guys thinking, why come to Temple if they can't play in a conference.''

All of it has led to speculation that Temple should drop down a level or abolish the program. While Bradshaw refuses to acknowledge the program is on life support, he knows there could be changes.

``I don't believe we should continue in anything where we can't be successfully competitive,'' Bradshaw said. ``We need to decide if we can continue to support the program. We need to see if it makes dollars and sense.''

Temple hoped for a reprieve when Boston College, Virginia Tech and Miami bolted last year for the ACC. Instead, the Owls were never given a second look.

``It is very difficult not knowing where the future lies,'' Wallace said.

Big East commissioner Michael Tranghese declined comment for this story, though he said last November that Temple's situation was not revisited because conference school presidents didn't want football-only members.

Bradshaw said there have been talks with other conferences, some that want Temple football only and some that want all of Temple's teams. Bradshaw said he would consider the options, but wasn't interested in putting the Owls in a league several zip codes and time zones away.

Wallace said Temple can't survive more than a couple of seasons as an independent, though an ambitious schedule is already in place for next season, including seven home games.

``If you could put Temple in the right situation in Division I-A, I don't know why it couldn't be successful,'' Wallace said. ``We just haven't been able to get there. We're still looking for that magical year.''

Coug legend Drexler enshrined in hoops Hall

One of the most popular players to ever wear a Houston Cougars uniform, Clyde Drexler, was inducted last month into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in a special ceremony in Springfield, Mass.

Born in New Orleans, Drexler played at Houston's Sterling High School before his record-setting collegiate career at the University of Houston. Drexler is the only player in school history to accumulate 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 300 steals in his illustrious career.

He came to UH in 1980-81 and was named the Southwest Conference Newcomer-of-the-Year after averaging 11.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. He joined fellow freshman, Michael Young, as the first two freshmen players in school history to begin the season as a starting forwards. The Cougars finished that year with a 21-9 record, tied for second in the SWC regular season standings and played in the NCAA Tournament.

The following year, Drexler led Houston to its first NCAA Final Four appearance in 14 years and a 25-8 season record. He was an honorable mention All-America selection and a Second-Team, All-SWC choice after averaging 15.2 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

He was named a First-Team, All-American in 1982-83 after he leading Houston's famed "Phi Slama Jama" squad to the NCAA Championship game for the first time in school history. The team also won its first SWC championship and ended the year with a 31-3 overall record.

Following his collegiate career, Drexler was the 14th player selected in the 1983 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers. He enjoyed a historic 15-year NBA career and upon retirement joined Oscar Robertson and John Havlicek as the only players in NBA history to accumulate 20,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 6,000 assists in their careers. He ended his career 17th on the NBA's career scoring charts with 22,195 points and fourth on the steals list with 2,207. Drexler also recorded 25 triple doubles in his career.

He played in nine NBA All-Star games and was named one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players of All-Time in 1997. He also played on the original "Dream Team" that won the 1992 Olympic Gold Medal in Barcelona, Spain.

He played eleven and a half seasons with the Trailblazers and is the leading scorer (18,040), rebounder (5,339) and steals leader (1,795) in Portland history. He also led Portland to 11 straight NBA Playoff berths and two NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992.

In 1995, Portland traded Drexler to the Houston Rockets on Valentine's Day, where he was reunited with his former college teammate, Hakeem Olajuwon. The former Cougar stars played pivotal roles in leading the Rockets to their second consecutive NBA Championship in 1995. Two years later, Drexler and Olajuwon helped Houston reach the Western Conference Finals.

In 1997-98, Drexler was leading the Rockets in scoring with 18.4 points per game, and averaged 4.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.8 steals before surprising the world on March 18, 1998, and jointly announcing that he was retiring as an NBA player and becoming the head basketball coach at his alma mater.

He led the Cougars to their first Conference USA road wins at Memphis and South Florida in 1998-99, and their first C-USA Tournament victory in 1999-00. Following his second season, he resigned as Houston's head coach. Later, he served as a special assistant to general manager, an assistant coach and a team scout with the Denver Nuggets.

The University of Houston honored Drexler by retiring his number 22 jersey on February 12, 1997, and he was inducted into the school's Hall of Honor in 1998. Drexler also was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the City of Houston's inaugural Hall of Fame in 1999.

Drexler was one of six persons inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame on Sept. 10. The others were Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo, NBA championship coach Bill Sharman, legendary women's basketball superstar Lynette Woodard, the late Maurice Stokes, and dominant international guard Drazen Dalipagic.

Compiled from a Houston athletics report.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically from staff, ECU, Conference USA and its member schools, and from Associated Press and other reports. Copyright 2004 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007

©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.