Temple prez: We'll make the call on Chaney's future

Updated: March 2, 2005, 3:44 PM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Temple will wait until after the season to determine the future of coach John Chaney.

While university president David Adamany knows Chaney made a terrible mistake for ordering rough play from one of his players, what he doesn't know is how the black mark will affect what happens to the Hall of Fame coach.

"We'll certainly have a discussion with John about how he feels about going forward," Adamany said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. "When we get a chance to get what his views are, then we'll make a decision."

Chaney's explosive temper caught up with him last week when he ordered hard fouls that led to Saint Joseph's senior forward John Bryant breaking his arm in a fall.

Chaney, 73, originally suspended himself for one game.

When the extent of Bryant's injury became known, Temple extended the suspension to the final three regular-season games, including Wednesday's contest at Rhode Island. On Monday, Chaney announced he would keep himself out of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

Though Chaney has issued his own punishments, he won't necessarily determine if he will return for his 24th season at Temple and 34th in college basketball.

"It's the institution that makes the decision," Adamany said. "We're an institution that does not make a decision in a panic or in a hurry. We want to be sure there is a full discussion with anybody who is affected by our decision."

A telephone message left for Chaney was not immediately returned.

Adamany said Chaney has built up a lot of goodwill at Temple and has been a positive influence in his role as father figure to the scores of players he's recruited from inner-city homes and bad schools.

"He has a great number of supporters," Adamany said. "People make serious mistakes. He should be given a chance to correct a serious mistake and go on with his life's work."

Chaney sent in seldom-used Nehemiah Ingram, a player he described as a "goon," against Saint Joseph's last week in response to what he felt were illegal screens being set by the Hawks and not called by the officials.

Chaney, who has a 721-294 career record, apologized to Bryant and his family and offered to pay any medical bills.

Saint Joseph's president, the Rev. Timothy Lannon, accepted the actions of Temple and Chaney on Tuesday, but criticized the school and the Atlantic 10 over the way the situation was handled.

Chaney could return to coach if Temple reaches the NIT or the NCAA tournament. The A-10 has already said that would be left up to Chaney and Temple.

"We'll get to those decisions when we're faced with them," Adamany said. "There isn't a need to make a decision about what may or may not happen."

Adamany said there was plenty of "justifiable anger" toward Chaney and Temple. He understands that, but hopes the public can accept Chaney's apology and move on.

"Clearly, John Chaney made a terrible mistake sending a player out to roughhouse on the floor," Adamany said. "There can never be a full recognition or a full correction of what was done. We have to move on. Temple is continuing to play basketball, the team is going forward and John Chaney has publicly acknowledged his mistake."

Chaney, who led Cheyney State in suburban Philadelphia to the 1978 Division II national championship, has taken Temple to 17 NCAA tournament appearances, but none since 2001.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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