10 Things You Might Not Know About College Mascots

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The Temple football team opens its season tonight with a game against Army at the Linc. (Tickets here!) Temple’s team is known as the Owls for the most proudly prosaic of reasons: It started as a night school, with a student body that worked during the day and went to classes after the sun went down. (Temple’s live great horned owl mascot is Stella, who, when she’s not on the sidelines, lives at Norristown’s Elmwood Park Zoo.) Army’s team (technically now the Army West Point team) is known as the Black Knights, a designation that, rumor had it, would be dropped last year under a rebranding with Nike. They originally became known as the Black Knights because their uniforms were black. So — what’s in a college mascot’s name? Some are weird, some are whimsical, some are politically incorrect all of a sudden. Just in time for back-to-school, here are the stories behind a few other collegiate sports teams’ names.  Read more »

Penn State to Honor Joe Paterno at Game vs. Temple

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Penn State will honor Joe Paterno before its home game against Temple this season, according to a press release about the season’s promotional schedule.

On the September 17th game against the Owls at Beaver Stadium, Penn State will hold an pregame ceremony “[c]ommemorating the 50th anniversary of Coach Paterno’s first game as Penn State head coach,” per the release. Per Onward State, which first reported the news, Penn State has not had any in-stadium mention of Paterno since his last game on October 29th, 2011 (besides his appearance in a few “hype” videos).

Paterno was fired in the aftermath of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, and died on January 22nd, 2012. His former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse in June 2012. Read more »

Temple Is Trying to Get Into the Big 12

Temple logo / Big 12 logo

Temple’s athletic team is trying to join the big boys.

There are five “power conferences” in college sports: ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. A school from one of these conferences always wins the national championship in football, and usually in basketball, too. (This year notwithstanding on the latter.) As such, schools from the Power Five conferences collect the most money from media deals (and are on TV the most). If you want your school to get attention on TV, being in one of these conferences is the way to do it.

The Big 12 — which currently only has 10 members — is looking to expand. Temple has been interested for a while, a fact the Daily NewsDavid Murphy has mocked. It’s a tough sell: While Temple is certainly a large enough school to compete in the conference — it would be the second-largest school by enrollment — it doesn’t have the athletic pedigree to fit in. Read more »

Temple Board of Trustees: No Confidence in President Neil Theobald

Temple University President Neil Theobald in February 2013.

Temple University President Neil Theobald in February 2013.

Temple University’s Board of Trustees took a vote of no confidence in university president Neil Theobald Tuesday afternoon. The board will seek his dismissal at a special meeting on July 21st.

The board lost confidence in Theobald over his handling of the removal of Hai-Lung Dai, a chemistry professor at Temple, from his position as provost late last month, according to Kevin Feeley, a spokesman for the trustees. The announcement of Dai’s ouster came on the same day that the university acknowledged it had run up a $22 million deficit on its financial-aid budget. Read more »

6-Year-Olds Will Be in College When Temple Plays Oklahoma

Hooter the Owl leads the team onto the field during an October 10, 2015, game against Tulane at Lincoln Financial Field.

Hooter the Owl leads the team onto the field during a game last year at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Temple football team is on a bit of a hot streak. The team opened 7-0 last year, beating Penn State, and finished 10-4. The Owls may be moving up in the football world. And yesterday Temple announced a three-game series with Oklahoma, a traditional football power.

“We look forward to starting a series with a great program like Oklahoma and hosting the Sooners in Philadelphia,” Temple University Director of Athletics Patrick Kraft said. “Our goal is to continue to schedule the best games possible for our program, alums and the college football fans in the city.” Read more »

Temple’s Provost Removed Amid Aid Funding Shortfall

Provost Hai-Lung Dai

Courtesy Douglas A. Lockard

Temple University’s provost Hai-Lung Dai was removed Tuesday amid a $22 million shortfall in financial aid, the Inquirer reports.

Dai has been “relieved of his administrative responsibilities, effective immediately,” Temple President Neil Theobald wrote in a statement, according to the Inquirer. Dai will remain a member of Temple’s faculty.

The university also announced Tuesday that it faces a $22 million deficit in its financial aid budget for 2016-17. An over-allocation of financial aid was due to an increase in students who qualified for the university’s merit scholarship program, the university said.

Read more »

Temple Profs Figured Out How to Reduce Fat in Chocolate Using Electricity

A Mars bar chocolate bar.

Photo by Sannse  via CC BY-SA 3.0

A group of local physics professors from Temple University have come up with an innovative approach to manufacturing chocolate that reduces the fat content. Their findings, published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, outline a new method that uses an electric field during the manufacturing process to alter the viscosity, or consistency, of the liquid chocolate.  Read more »

WATCH: 60 Minutes Profiles Temple Prof Wrongly Accused of Spying

Last May, the Department of Justice dropped a bombshell when it announced charges against Temple physics chair Xiaoxing Xi. The allegation: The Chinese-born scientist was alleged to be passing top-secret technology — something called a “pocket heater” — along to China. He was demoted from his position at Temple and generally shamed. Then, four months later, the DOJ quietly, and with no explanation, dropped the charges against him. According to the New York Times, federal prosecutors didn’t understand the science. Whoops!

Last night, nearly one year after federal agents with guns and bulletproof vests barged into his home around sunrise and handcuffed him, 60 Minutes profiled Xi and Sherry Chen, another Chinese-born scientist accused and then cleared of spying for China in a segment called “Collateral Damage.” Read more »

Former Temple President Peter Liacouras Dies at 85

Peter Liacouras in 2002. Photo courtesy of Temple University.

Peter Liacouras in 2002. Photo courtesy of Temple University.

Peter Liacouras, who served as Temple University’s president from 1982-2000, died Thursday at the age of 85.

“Peter was a man of vision and determination,” said current President Neil Theobald in a statement. “He loved Temple and would do anything he could for the university’s greater good, whether that was before, during or after his term as president.” Read more »

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