By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
The news of Temple University eliminating its baseball program came as a surprise to most, but there's at least one former Owl who had a feeling for nearly a decade that baseball's days at Temple were numbered.

"Honestly, not surprised at all, the writing was on the wall for a while," he said in a phone conversation on Friday. Given his affiliation with the university and ties to baseball in the region, the player spoke on the condition of anonymity.

"We had some concerns going back, almost ten years ago, about the viability of the program, just from the way everything was run at the university. Non-revenue sports were second class citizens behind basketball and football."

Including baseball, Temple slashed six other sports on Friday from the 24 varsity programs offered at the university.

Temple Athletic Director - Kevin Clark“Temple does not have the resources to equip, staff, and provide a positive competitive experience for 24 varsity sports. Continuing this model does a disservice to our student-athletes," said Director of Athletics, Kevin Clark. "We need to have the right-sized program to create a sustainable model for Temple University Athletics moving forward."

The baseball program was ready to begin play in the American Athletic Conference starting this February - now the club's first season in the conference will also be its last.

"You look at the teams they have to play in the American compared to the Atlantic 10, they just can't compete with the budget some of those schools have and the facilities they use."

According to data collected by the Temple News in April, Temple's operating budget (2011-2012) for baseball ranked last of the nine teams competing in the American - trailing the closest program (Cincinnati) by nearly $55,000.

The other major issue facing the program was Skip Wilson Field, the program's home in Ambler. The facility lacks proper lighting for night games and does not have a grandstand for fans. Every other baseball field used by programs in the American have permanent seating and can accommodate at least 1,500 fans.

Temple announced last month the majority of the Owls' conference games will be played at Campbell's Field in Camden.     

"The deal with Campbell's Field and using the facility for 2014, I firmly believe that's because the university was embarrassed to have other conference teams travel across the country and play on a field that's more suitable for a high school team than a high level Division I program.

"I feel for the players and coaches, all great guys, but it's almost like a blessing in disguise because I can't see how the university would expect the baseball team to compete given the resources they were given. Don't get me wrong, I loved my time playing for the Owls, but you just knew other schools were doing a lot more for their baseball teams."

- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is Philly premier baseball news source, covering baseball throughout the Philadelphia region. 


supportowlsbaseball. said…
The AD Clark who should be fighting for his athletic department not slashing it. He obviously made the easy decision for himself with no consideration for the Philly sports landscape. He has no problem with supplying a sub par football team to play at an empty stadium. When those games are on ESPN the place looks like an empty cavern. also... I wonder how much the rent is on an empty stadium? Did he crunch the numbers on that one? I suggest this spring season everyone go out and enjoy some baseball at Campbell Field and support the Owls! These boys deserve your support!
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