Temple University takes back Bill Cosby’s honorary degree

Temple University takes back Bill Cosby's honorary degree

April 27 (UPI) — Philadelphia’s Temple University revoked an honorary degree given to comedian Bill Cosby on Friday, one day after a jury convicted him of aggravated indecent assault.

A jury found Cosby guilty of three counts of sexual assault charges for drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand, the former women’s basketball team manager at Temple.

Constand said Cosby gave her pills to relax while they were alone once at her Elkins Park, Pa., home. She said she became drowsy and unable to move, at which point Cosby touched her and forced her to touch him.

Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison for each count, which could be served concurrently.

“Today the Temple University board of trustees has accepted the recommendation of the university to rescind the honorary degree,” the school said in a brief announcement.

Cosby, 80, received his bachelor’s degree from Temple and served on its board of trustees for decades before resigning in 2014. He received the honorary degree in 1991.

Patrick O’Connor, chairman of Temple’s board of trustees, said he would recuse himself from discussions about rescinding Cosby’s honorary degree. O’Connor represented Cosby in 2005 when he first faced allegations from Constand.

More than 15 universities have already rescinded degrees given to the former TV star.

Carnegie Mellon University said Thursday it has a no-tolerance policy on sexual violence.

“In order to fulfill that commitment and in light of Bill Cosby’s criminal conviction for aggravated indecent assault, Carnegie Mellon University has decided to revoke an honorary degree it awarded to Mr. Cosby in 2007,” the college said.

Johns Hopkins University also rescinded a degree after the verdict, saying it had been “unaware of the allegations that Mr. Cosby sexually assaulted dozens of women over decades.”

The University of Notre Dame also followed suit, saying it waited for due process before rescinding its honor.