Cosby loses honorary degree after verdict

Actor Bill Cosby is wearing a GPS ankle monitor under home detention as he awaits sentencing

Temple University has rescinded an honorary doctorate it had awarded to Bill Cosby, a graduate of the Philadelphia school and longtime fundraiser, where years later he met the woman whom he was convicted sexually assaulting.

Temple joined at least three other major US universities that took back honorary degrees since Thursday's verdict, reflecting a broader reappraisal of the comedian's place in American culture after his sexual assault conviction.

The 80-year-old has been ordered to remain in his suburban Philadelphia home and will be fitted with a GPS monitor.

At least 15 schools had withdrawn honours from Cosby prior to his conviction, as dozens of women went public with accusations of sexual assault, some of them dating to the 1960s.

"In 1991, based on his career achievements, Temple awarded an honorary degree to William Cosby," the school said in a statement on Friday. "Today the Temple University Board of Trustees has accepted the recommendation of the University to rescind the honorary degree."

As a trustee of Temple, Cosby first met Andrea Constand, a former university employee that he would drug and sexually assault in 2004 at his nearby home, 14 years before his conviction for the crime.

Constand was an administrator of the Temple women's basketball team at the time, and Cosby, a Philadelphia native who maintained close ties to the university as one of its most prominent alumni, befriended her and invited her to dinners.

The University of Massachusetts, where the one-time high school dropout earned a doctorate in education, cut ties with Cosby in 2014.

Boston College, in contrast, said its policy was not to rescind honorary degrees, and would not make an exception for Cosby despite his conviction, the Boston Globe reported on Friday.

A question mark also hovers over the presence of the actor-comedian at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. Before his conviction, the museum grappled with how best to highlight Cosby's impact on the culture while acknowledging the accusations against him.

Museum officials on Friday had no comment about the fate of two Cosby items on display: a comic book from the 1960s Cosby show I, Spy and the cover of his 1964 album comedy album, I Started Out as a Child.