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Temple Owls: Nothing but Positives Surrounding Their Move to the Big East

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 16:  Micheal Eric #50 of the Temple Owls talks to his teammates after a play against the South Florida Bulls during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 16, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Roy BurtonContributor IMarch 24, 2012

Nearly three weeks have passed since Temple University accepted an invitation to join the Big East, and no one has offered an argument as to why the school shouldn't have made the move.

That's because there aren't any.

Nearly eight years after the Owls were forced out of the Big East football conference for being "non-competitive", the school was formally invited on March 7 to re-join the conference, this time in all sports.

"This is arguably the greatest day in the history of Temple Athletics," said Temple athletics director Bill Bradshaw.

He couldn't have been more right.

There are nothing but positives surrounding the move for Temple, who currently compete in the Mid-American Conference in football and the Atlantic 10 for all other sports. The combined $4 million in exit fees that the school will have to pay to those two conferences is a small price to pay to join a high-profile league such as the Big East.

Regardless of how well they perform on the field and/or the court, Temple will benefit from a huge increase in revenue once the school is officially readmitted into the Big East for all sports in 2013 (the Owls will join the conference for football later this year).

There's a huge difference between the limited talent one can recruit in the Atlantic 10 and the blue-chip stars a school can entertain as a member of the Big East. The recruiting footprint for Temple basketball won't change all that much, but if they can attract some of the high-level players that would have normally selected Villanova, Pitt, St. John's or Georgetown, it won't be long before they're a perennial top-25 program once again.

"It's going to be a big challenge for Temple," said Temple alum and New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan." But it's going to be good for football and basketball, all of the sports programs."

Athletics aside, the move will undoubtedly boost the profile of the school nationally. Temple is already the 25th-largest university in the United States, and frequent appearances on ESPN are likely to result in more prospective students choosing to apply to the North Philadelphia institution.

"This move will benefit not just Temple University, its student-athletes, coaches, alumni and fans, but also the city of Philadelphia," said Bradshaw. "We look forward to being a great partner in this great conference, to renewing old rivalries and forging new ones."

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