Does Anyone in Philly College Hoops — Besides Villanova — Have a Shot at the March NCAA Tourney?

St. Joe's DeAndre Bembry (left); Villanova's Josh Hart (right)

St. Joe’s DeAndre Bembry (left); Villanova’s Josh Hart (right).

The January break is over, and all six of the area’s Division I men’s college basketball teams have started division play. With no hope of sporting glory among the pro ranks — except maybe the hard-charging Flyers — it’s now time for Philly sports fans to turn their attention to the college hardwood. So who would make a run to the NCAA tournament this season?

As has been true for every year for about a decade now, the best team among the Big 5 is Villanova. The Wildcats (12-2) are 11th in the AP Top 25, a rank that’s sure to rise when the next poll is released today. Nova is coming off a 2-0 week that included a road win over Butler yesterday.

But Villanova is ranked even higher among computer polls. The Wildcats are the No. 1 team in the nation in RPI, which is the tool the selection committee uses to help them select the bracket. They’re also No. 2 in the Kenpom rankings and No. 7 in ESPN’s BPI.

The Wildcats trailed by 7 in yesterday’s game about three minutes into the second half, but Ryan Arcidiacono sparked a 17-4 run. Villanova led by as many as 9, and held off a late Butler charge to win 60-55. Josh Hart had 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting in the win. The Wildcats do pretty much everything well this season except shoot threes. But as college hoops scribe Ken Pomeroy has persuasively argued, there’s reason to think they may improve.

Villanova is already 4-0 in the Big East, a conference with enough quality teams that a solid campaign in it could land the Wildcats another No. 1 seed. Now, about MarchRead more »

After Drexel Broadside, Temple Prez Defends College Football

Neil Theobald won’t let John Fry rain on his parade.

Just a few days after Fry, Drexel’s president, wrote a critique of college football’s effect on, well, college, Temple’s Theobald has responded. His argument: Good football teams make great universities even better.

“A well-run football program can create innumerable benefits to a national university,” Theobald, Temple’s president, wrote in a letter shared with Philadelphia Business Journal. Read more »

West Philly Rising

A rendering of the under construction FMC tower and the growing West Philly skyline. | Pelli Clarke Pelli/Brandywine Realty Trust.

A rendering of the under construction FMC tower and the growing West Philly skyline. | Pelli Clarke Pelli/Brandywine Realty Trust.

Each year, the University City District compiles, in a glossy report, the vital signs for the eastern half of West Philly. For a while now, the trend lines have been strong. But this year, the numbers are truly staggering. Read more »

Drexel Lands Half of Towson’s Famed Lacrosse Quadruplets

If, in the spring of 2017, you happen to be watching a women’s lacrosse game at Drexel’s Vidas Field in West Philly and you think you’re seeing double: You won’t be. On National Signing Day this year, November 11th, Drexel head coach Hannah Rudloff managed to snag two of the Schneidereith sisters, a set of stick-wielding quadruplets out of Towson, Maryland.

Just two, Coach Rudloff? Read more »

WATCH: College Protesters: “We Are #Mizzou”

A crowd of about 300 took to the middle of Broad Street Thursday evening to make a point about student debt and racial inequality.

As part of the Million Student March taking place nationwide, students from Temple, Penn, Community College of Philadelphia, and Drexel began at their own campuses and then converged at City Hall. Their demands are familiar: $15 an hour minimum wage, student debt forgiveness, and free education.

But much of the protest’s focus was on race, especially in light of the recent unrest at the University of Missouri and Yale University. Read more »

Drexel Revokes Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degree


Drexel University announced today it was revoking Bill Cosby‘s honorary degree, given to him by the university in 1992.

“The misconduct by Bill Cosby that came to light through his sworn deposition testimony stands in clear opposition to Drexel’s values,” Drexel president John A. Fry wrote to the Drexel community Thursday. “Universities are critical arenas in the movement to recognize and address sexual violence and misconduct as a societal problem. Drexel takes that responsibility very seriously, and the decision to revoke Mr. Cosby’s honorary degree flows from that responsibility.”

Fry said that he made the decision after consulting with the Executive Committee of Drexel’s Board of Trustees.

Cosby got the degree when he was Drexel’s convocation speaker in 1992. Cosby spoke of “counselors who don’t know how to counsel” and “parents who don’t know how to parent” at the convocation.

He was awarded a Doctor of Pedagogy, a traditionally honorary degree given by many U.S. colleges to distinguished figures in the education field. Read more »

Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving is a Failed Experiment of Corporate Greed

This is what Walmart looks like on Thanksgiving. (Gray Thursday KF Walmart/Wikimedia Commons)

This is what Walmart looks like on Thanksgiving. (Gray Thursday KF Walmart/Wikimedia Commons)

Call me old fashioned, but in my day the retail-blitz called Black Friday started on the Friday after Thanksgiving — not on Thanksgiving night. In fact, when I was a kid, you could hardly find any businesses open on Thanksgiving. Maybe a local gas station. And I’m only in my 30s.

But big retail chains decided a few years ago that it was suddenly acceptable to open on Thanksgiving night — meaning thousands of employees were forced to forgo time with family, decline that extra glass of wine and forget kicking back to watch the late NFL game. If they work at Macy’s, Target, Walmart, Toys R’ Us, or plenty of other stores, they’ve got to go to work. Read more »

Will Philly-Area Schools Rescind Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degrees?

Last week, Lehigh University rescinded an honorary degree it had given to Bill Cosby in 1987. It decided to nix the honor because of the overwhelming number of women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault. (Cosby has never been  criminally charged — though he currently faces several civil lawsuits —and has denied the accusations.)

“Pursuant to a resolution of the Board of Trustees, Lehigh University has rescinded the honorary degree bestowed upon William H. Cosby, Jr. by the University in 1987,” the University said in a statement. “In sworn deposition testimony, Mr. Cosby admitted under oath to behavior that is antithetical to the values of Lehigh University and inconsistent with the character and high standards that honorary degree recipients are expected to exemplify.”

Lehigh is not the only local university to have awarded Cosby an honorary degree. Seven other schools in the Philadelphia area — Delaware State, Drexel, Haverford, Swarthmore, Temple, Penn and West Chester — have awarded Cosby honorary diplomas. Philadelphia magazine reached out to all seven schools to ask if they were considering stripping him of his honorary diplomas. Here’s what we found out. Read more »

FBI Warns Area Colleges of Threat of Violence for Monday


This is a developing story.

On the weekend following the deadly campus shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, the FBI has warned Philadelphia-area colleges and universities of a potential for violence on Monday, October 5th, according to an alert from Drexel University. Read more »

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