So far in 2005, incoming hurricanes have led to numerous reschedulings in college football. Those actions have been taken primarily by schools near the Gulf Coast. However, today a northeastern program has added itself to the list. To avoid certain disaster, Temple has cancelled Saturday’s game versus the Miami Hurricanes.
Temple officials referred to the school’s history against Miami in explaining the decision. A former Big East Conference foe, the Hurricanes won 12 straight lopsided matchups with the Owls, most recently a 52–14 rout in 2003. Temple currently stands at 0–6, with two losses of more than 60 points. Staring at the #7 team in the nation, the program faced carnage unimaginable to many.
The cancellation puts a damper on the school’s homecoming activities. However, noted athletic director Bill Bradshaw, most students assumed that scheduling Miami as the homecoming opponent was just a prank. All football season ticket holders were notified of the cancellation by telephone – a Herculean effort that required three employees to make six calls each.
The action comes amid a tumultuous week for the program. On Monday, head coach Bobby Wallace announced he would not return after this season. Wallace has faced an uphill climb during his eight seasons with a 19–66 record. Gaining respect proved to be an insurmountable obstacle. Particularly frustrating Wallace were the numerous press conferences in which university chancellor Peter Liacouras and other administrators repeatedly chuckled and made quote signs with their fingers when referring to Temple “football.” Additionally, efforts by FEMA to relieve the program proved to be insufficient. However, President Bush did assure the coach during a recent disaster relief visit, “Wally, I think you’re doing a heckuva job.”
Reached for comment, the president announced that he has called off his scheduled visit to Lincoln Financial Field after Saturday’s game. However, he encouraged all Americans to donate what they could to the devastated Temple program. He emphasized that the Owls were in particular need of offense, defense, and special teams.
Temple may have avoided the Hurricanes this weekend, but another fierce storm is brewing. John Chaney starts basketball practice on Saturday.