During her time at Temple University, JoAnne Epps held various positions, including acting president, dean of the law school, and provost. While she did not participate in many organized sports growing up, Epps gained a deep understanding of college sports during her tenure as Temple’s faculty athletic representative from 1994 to 2006. She believes that sports are an important aspect of the institution and expressed that her experience in the role solidified this belief.
Epps acknowledged that the landscape of sports is constantly changing and that college sports may look different in the future. She recently participated in a conference call about the changing shape of sports and the role of money in athletics. When asked about her opinion on whether Temple should have a campus football stadium, Epps emphasized that her role as acting president does not afford her the time to make such decisions. However, she expressed the importance of staying open-minded and considering the future of Temple football in the next few years.
Regarding the sustainability of investing in sports, Epps believes that it is possible but acknowledges that it would require impacting other areas. She highlights the importance of a combined judgment involving various parties in making decisions about sports programs. Epps also expressed concern about the accessibility of sports for younger generations, especially with the increasing influence of money in Division I sports.
Epps shared her insights into the changes she has witnessed in the NCAA, noting the transition from a democratic to a representative process. She recognizes that decision-making power now lies with governing boards and councils. Epps also reflected on her interactions with former Temple basketball coach John Chaney, describing him as a unique personality who was both a teacher and a generous individual.
When asked about her thoughts on instant transfer eligibility in college athletics, Epps hesitated but ultimately stated that she is generally in favor of rules that benefit student-athletes. However, she acknowledged that there may be unforeseen consequences and considers some aspects of the issue to be old-school values.
As acting president of Temple University, Epps’s focus is on the institution and its position in the world of college sports. While she worries about Temple’s standing in comparison to other schools, she remains dedicated to considering all variables and making informed decisions for the benefit of the institution.