Temple AD doesn’t care about Big 5 Basketball, games at the Palestra
Temple Basketball officially clinched a share of a Big 5 championship since 2012/13, but their Athletic Director Arthur Johnson doesn’t seem to care. Fan attendance for Big 5 games is at an all-time low, and Samuel O’Neal of The Temple News asked his school’s AD about getting students to the Palestra to support the Owls.
Temple’s AD laid it out in no uncertain terms: “That’s not our home game”
Disgusting. Horrible. Embarrassing.
Look, I love the Liacouras Center, but it’s clear Johnson has no idea what he’s talking about. He’s a Georgia guy and came here from Texas, so I don’t think he’s fully grasping the historical importance of the Big 5 or the Palestra.
The Palestra might be THE MOST iconic venue for college basketball in terms of pure history. Sure, you could list Cameron, MSG, and the Carrier Dome, but the Palestra is truly historic.
That’s basically like Villanova’s AD coming out and saying that they don’t want to play at The Garden because it’s “not their home game.” Stupid example, I know, but I’m fired up about this BS from Johnson.
I totally understand trying to get students in the doors at the Liacouras Center first. But Temple and every other Big 5 schools should have bussed students to West Philly and packed out the Palestra.
It’s not a home game for anyone but Penn, and even that’s a stretch. The Palestra is an ancestral home of basketball and it deserves to be treated as such.
Just imagine the electric crowd when the Owls upset Nova, but transported to the Palestra. It’s still an iconic moment, don’t get me wrong, but you know I’m right.
It’s not just college basketball either.
I remember watching the high school tournament there, with future college and NBA players like Gerald Henderson, Wayne Ellington, and Scoop Jardine, to name a few. Watching that Episcopal Academy vs. Neumann Goretti game in the 2000’s is a core memory for me, and the Palestra is the perfect back drop.
So nut up, AD Johnson. You and every other Big 5 administrator better shape up before the Big 5 is lost – because the Lord above knows I do not give a FUCK about the AAC.