By Hank Allison

John A. Fry has left Drexel to become Temple’s new president.

Temple has lots of problems that need cleaning up — crime among them.

But we hope the Brooklyn native who got his start in academia at Penn and has led Drexel for 14 years, is able to fix Temple sports.

“Temple has a really proud football tradition,” Fry told the Inky last week.

“As the incoming president, I would totally respect that. … I have no preconceived notions and no plans to end the football program.”

In the 2016 Wall Street Journal piece, Fry wrote that Drexel was not “burdened by the distractions that come with maintaining a football program” and that financial losses from athletics “force universities to divert funding from the fundamental task of educating students.” He also discussed the high salaries of coaches.

Fry said the situations are different. Drexel hasn’t had a football program since 1973.

He said he considers athletics “the gateway” to a university for many people and underscored their importance. When he led Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, he chaired the NCAA Division III presidents’ council in 2007. While at Drexel, he chaired the Coastal Athletic Association board of directors during the pandemic.

He said he considers Temple’s football team “a major gateway” to the university and wants to learn more about the sports program at Temple.

“I am really, really committed to athletics,” he said.


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