March 1, 2005
PHILADELPHIA - On behalf of Saint Joseph's University, I accept the measures taken in response to the events of last week. The willingness of Temple coach John Chaney to meet with John Bryant and family on our campus and later remove himself from the Atlantic 10 tournament is most appropriate.
The overwhelming feeling within the Saint Joseph's community is that the remedies first announced by Coach Chaney and Temple University did not fully address the severity of what occurred. We believe it is the role of institutional and conference officials, not solely an individual coach, to demonstrate the necessary leadership in upholding the league's code of conduct and assuring the safety of student-athletes in competition.
It bears repeating that there was nothing in the conduct of SJU coaches or student-athletes intended to bring harm to an opponent. I ask the Atlantic 10 to foster a similar environment at the upcoming conference championships, and I encourage members of the extended Saint Joseph's community to move toward reconciliation consistent with our Jesuit tradition.
Saint Joseph's University has previously withheld comment while the Atlantic 10 and Temple University reviewed the situation. Coach Phil Martelli has further requested that he and members of the Saint Joseph's team be excused from commenting on this matter so as to focus on the season at hand. I support that decision and applaud their restraint during a very difficult time.
Finally, I ask the media to respect the wishes of John Bryant and his family to refrain from public comment.
-Timothy R. Lannon, S.J.
President, Saint Joseph's University