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May 19, 2016

Incoming Temple professor blasts Eagles for Linc's rent price

Outspoken educator says team asking too much for Owls to use field

Sports Higher Education
Sara Goldrick-Rab Sara Goldrick-Rab/Twitter

Sara Goldrick-Rab is coming to teach at Temple University.

In March, we brought you the story of Sara Goldrick-Rab, a controversial and often outspoken professor coming to Temple University this summer from the University of Wisconsin.

Goldrick-Rab, who teaches education policy and sociology, was not shy about criticizing state and school officials for not making college more affordable — as well as for putting athletics above education — at her old job.

She praised Temple on both those points when she announced her new gig. I joked in March that it would be interesting to see her thoughts on the proposed $100 million football stadium in North Philly — a potential project that’s received intense backlash from some community members.

Related: Why North Philly protesters marched on Broad Street to fight Temple's stadium plan

Apparently, Goldrick-Rab's all caught up, but it's not Temple that's drawing her ire. It's the Eagles.

In a retweet of PhillyVoice's Wednesday story about members of the Philadelphia Eagles helping to build a playground at a Northeast Philly school, Goldrick-Rab criticized the organization for nearly doubling the leasing price for Temple to use Lincoln Financial Field, a complaint Mayor Jim Kenney has made in the past.

She went on to retweet a number of tweets from the past few months criticizing the Eagles for not giving Temple a better deal, also retweeting a February column from Stu Bykofsky that lambasted the team's high asking price.

Temple paid $1 million in rent to the Eagles for the 2015 season to play in Lincoln Financial Field, plus a fee for stadium operations.

When Temple's lease runs out in 2017, the Eagles want to increase the rent to $2 million plus $12 million up front for a new 30-year lease.

Goldrick-Rab added this in a Twitter direct message:

... from what I can tell thus far, I think the public is getting hurt here by a poor decision by the Eagles- a not very neighborly one. The Linc is basically a public-private partnership and they need to honor the city's public university. Temple should pay- always has- but gouging it isn't cool. Feels like bullying-- public u's need to focus their energies on raising money for academics- this has created a distraction from Pres Theobold's good work. It's put Temple in a grossly unfair position vis a vis its community, which it cares about more than the vast majority of u's I've ever seen. None of this is good for Philly-- I would hope the Eagles would do the right thing by their hometown.
Things should certainly be interesting when she arrives at Temple in July as debate over the stadium heats up.