Despite the uncertainty that has come with COVID-19, Ivy hoops figures are still making plenty of moves.
Dunphy steps up again
In case you missed it, Temple named former Penn coach Fran Dunphy acting athletic director effective July 1 last week, 15 months after his 30-year head coaching career ended at Temple, which opted to hand over the coaching reins to assistant Aaron McKie and have Dunphy step aside after the 2018-19 season. Dunphy will succeed Patrick Kraft, who will be departing Temple to become Boston College’s athletic director on July 1. (Penn athletic director M. Grace Calhoun was also reportedly under consideration for the BC job, per the Boston Herald.) Dunphy is not expected to be a candidate for the athletic director’s job, but that could change, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, which reported that Temple hoped to have an athletic director named within 90 days.
Fran Dunphy’s teams always seemed to play great defense, whether at Penn or Temple.
Dunphy was honored with a standing ovation prior to the game, the first meeting between the two without either being coached by Dunphy in 31 seasons Saturday at the Palestra, and defense was fittingly the order of the day.
The Big 5 rivals held each other under a point per possession, but it was Penn that made enough shots for a 66-59 win.
The Harvard men announced a challenging 2019-2020 schedule, on Tuesday afternoon, which the Crimson faithful hope will prepare the team not only for its third straight regular season title, but its first Ivy Tournament championship and first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2015.
The 15 game nonconference schedule features the usual contests against in-state rivals, as well as trips to Toronto, Florida, D.C. and California. The early part of the schedule will see the Crimson facing anywhere from four-to-five top-100 teams.
It was one year ago today that allegations that Jerome Allen took bribes were first reported by Bloomberg and the Miami Herald.
But the passage of time didn’t make Sports Illustrated’s deep dive last week into how Jerome Allen became guilty of bribery, wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion any easier to digest.
Most Penn basketball supporters will find it an uncomfortable read, but its revelations are simply too many to ignore.
They reconfirm what we already knew – one of Penn basketball’s most admired figures used his head coaching position for personal gain at the expense of the program.
But taken as a whole, the article’s revelations paint a far more holistic portrait than that.
Allen is and will always be more than an implicated figure on a witness stand, and his story as told by SI merits closer examination – as do the institutions and forces that shaped it. As someone who covered Allen and Penn basketball extensively for the Daily Pennsylvanian from 2012 to 2014, I thought I’d do a closer read of SI’s story, portions of which are italicized below.
Ivy Hoops Onlinereported early Tuesday morning on Jerome Allen’s sentencing in federal court for accepting bribes from a Florida businessman to place his son on the Quakers’ recruited athletes list. At the conclusion of the article, we noted that Allen’s name was no longer on the online list of Penn Athletics Hall of Fame honorees.
Following a season in which he led Yale back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016 and became a finalist for the St. John’s coaching job, James Jones was rewarded this week with a contract extension that will keep him in New Haven until the conclusion of the 2025-26 season.
For the uninitiated, I can tell you the Big 5 is a Big Deal. The Philly City Series is as important and frequently more difficult to capture than the Ivy Crown. The teams are generally better, the crowds are bigger and the games are significantly fewer. Villanova has owned the Big 5 for more than a decade, and rightfully so. To play the national champions every year is no easy feat for anyone. Since Penn’s last title in 2002, St. Joseph’s has been ranked number one in the nation, and the John Chaney-Fran Dunphy Temple Owls as well as La Salle are almost always solid squads from deep conferences.
So when Penn, coming off a four-game losing streak, faced Temple (14-3 and coming off a four-game winning streak) Saturday, a lot was on the line. In my opinion, it was a masterful performance by the Quakers. I would argue that it was even better than the Villanova win. Of course, Penn was still without last year’s leading scorer, Ryan Betley. Max Rothschild played only a few token minutes, Michael Wang does not appear to have fully regained his soft shooting stroke and the Quakers were playing away from home, before a full house, on national television. Still, Steve Donahue’s squad maintained complete control of the game. Their four-game hiatus from victory looked like a thing of the past. (I consider the losses to Princeton just a low point in a season where low points inevitability happen.)