Bill Cosby to Attend Benefit for Temple Men's Gymnastics Team

Comedy legend Bill Cosby will pay a visit to his alma mater – if only it were under happier circumstances.

Cosby is appearing at a benefit for the Temple University Men’s Gymnastics Program. The program is the winningest men’s team in school history. They boast 14 NCAA individual event champions, 26 conference team championships in the past 88 years of existence and have also produced three Olympic athletes and two Olympic coaches.

They've also had the highest GPA of all Temple teams for four of the past six years as well as the third highest GPA of all NCAA Men’s Gymnastics teams the past three years.

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    “I was flabbergasted that they would drop a program that has won more conference championships than any other men’s sports, led the athletic department in GPA in the last few years, and graduates all its students,” Turoff said.

Last December, Temple University announced that it would discontinue varsity men’s gymnastics in its athletic program. Starting July 1, the team will function as a university club.

Coach Fred Turoff has been coaching men’s gymnastics at Temple University for 38 years and has been a part of the Temple community since 1965 when he was enrolled as a student. June 30 marks his last day of full-time employment as coach of the men’s varsity gymnastics team.

“I’m going to stay a coach,” Turoff said. “I’m only 67 I don’t want to retire yet. I still am having fun coaching.”

Unfortunately for Turoff that means he'll be lending his coaching expertise to the team for free.

The university has offered to fund the program for the next four years, but that does not include a coach's salary.

Turoff, the team and Cosby, are looking to raise funds for a newly installed endowment which would cover the cost of coaches' salaries and future operating fees.
The goal for the endowment is $4 million and in addition to the salaries and fees, it will provide training and competition opportunities to male gymnasts who attend Temple.
“My hope is that whoever follows me won’t have to worry about money matters,” Turoff said.
The benefit takes place on August 14 at the Visitors Center at Independence Hall. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here. 
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