NCAA must find another way on Bowden case

 

 

Florence, Ala.—Bobby Bowden has been a college football coach for 55 years. In that time his various football programs have never been hauled before the NCAA for cheating. Sure, some of his players have gotten into trouble with the law and that’s not good.  Yes, there have been various violations that every program goes through. That has happened to a lot of coaches. It comes with the territory.

But everybody involved in college football knows there is a difference between breaking the rules and cheating to gain a competitive advantage. No one has ever said publicly that Bowden bought players or gave them something of value to come to Tallahassee or Morgantown, or Howard College (now Samford) or South Georgia Junior College, where it all started for him.

That is why Bowden is troubled by the possibility that an NCAA Appeals Committee may eventually rule that 14 of his 382 career victories, second only to Penn State’s Joe Paterno at 383, will be “vacated” as punishment for an academic cheating scandal that involved 61 athletes (25 of them football players) at Florida State. The penalty as been appealed but if it stands, Paterno will win the race by default.

I had a chance to spend a couple of hours with Bobby Bowden and his sons Terry, Tommy, and Jeff on Tuesday. They had all come to Florence to help Terry, the new head coach at North Alabama, with his fund raising efforts for the football program.

Until now, Bobby Bowden has been low key about this whole thing. His attitude has been “what happens, happens.” But now, as his Hall of Fame career draws to a close, this matter has clearly disturbed his sense of what is right and wrong and, ultimately, fair to him and to Florida State.

“I’ve been coaching for 55 years and never been accused of cheating,” said Bowden. “And now we’re going to get punished like this for something we knew nothing about? And when we did find out about it we turned ourselves in. We did everything we were supposed to do. But somehow this just does not seem fair.”

The NCAA Committee on Infractions admits that there is no evidence that Bowden or any of his coaches were involved, had knowledge of, or condoned the process that allowed these students to cheat on an on-line course. Florida State discovered the problem, turned itself in, and immediately suspended all athletes involved. Those suspensions in football were for as many as four games.

 The infractions committee, thinking it was giving a lesser punishment than scholarship reductions, called for the games involving the athletes to be vacated, which means that they will be stricken from the record as if they were never played. But what the committee has done, perhaps unknowingly, is inject itself into the race to determine Division I-A football’s all-time winner.

Here is my advice to the NCAA: Find another way on this case.

What happened at Florida State should have never happened. It was sloppy. Florida State should be punished in some fashion. No argument here. But dock the school some scholarships. Fine them. Ban them from TV (fat chance).

The fact is you have no evidence that Bowden or his coaches were involved or had knowledge of it. If you did, I’ve got no problem with this punishment. So find another way to punish the school without getting into the Bowden-Paterno race and putting a permanent asterisk by Bowden’s name.

Just the other day Paterno said that he hopes the NCAA would reconsider its position and allow Bowden to keep the wins. Paterno is a competitor. He doesn’t want to win like that. He wants to beat Bowden fair and square.

“All of Bobby Bowden’s players and all of Joe Paterno’s players want the same thing,” said Terry Bowden. “They want to tell their children and their grandchildren that they played for the guy who won more games than anybody. And that race should be decided on the field.”

Bobby Bowden told me that he hopes the issue will be resolved in Florida State favor “but I won’t slit my wrists if it doesn’t.” He also insisted to me that this decision will not have an impact on when he eventually retires. He said he has an idea when that will be but won’t discuss it “because then people will start counting down the days. I don’t want that.”

Here is my bottom line: The NCAA, however well-intentioned, is inserting itself into a piece of college football history. That is not a proper place for them to be. Punish Florida State appropriately. Just find another way to do it.

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http://twitter.com/MrCFB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

180 comments Add your comment

CharlotteGator

July 15th, 2009
10:46 am

Father of 5,

What in the world are you talking about?

“Univ. of Florida has more video courses, on-line courses, less teacher/student interaction, and more opportunity for cheating than any university anywhere.”

- Really?!? Did you go there? I did, got two degrees from Warrington and never cheated. I also have a brother finishing up at FSU right now and we’ve both taken a the same amount of online classes. Nice try.

“Morally bankrupt….like Meyer..”

- I’d love to hear you reasoning on this or what you base this on. As far as I can tell the only thing that seems to make coaches liars or morally bankrupt is if they coach your rival school. I’m guilty of this myself. At the end of the day it’s football. Let’s not make judgments on men most of us will never know or meet simply because they coach a school we want to defeat in a football game.

“I know this is a very hard question for a gator to answer, but has YOUR life changed because of what Tebow has accomplished for that school in Gainesville?”

- Not necessarily proud of this, but in our country its readily accepted that for no reason whatsoever, the exposure of athletic success actually increases a school’s visibility and name recognition and that it actually impacts the value of a degree from that institution. While it’s not quantifiable, 4 recent NC’s in bball and football have made it to where even in N. Carolina, an employer recognizes “I went to and graduated from UF.” I’m thankfully employed right now so I think it’s helped a little.

“If not, you might talk to someone who knows Richt or Bowden or someone who really understands what kind of change you need.”

- Are you that special someone? From your meetings with Mr. Richt and Mr. Bowden, what advice would you give us Gators to help us make this change you speak of? Is it to change allegiances and not root for the Gators? I’m confused.

don't be a hater

July 15th, 2009
10:47 am

Bobby’s free shoes have come home to roost. He cheated his whole career and thumped the bible every time he got in trouble. Reminds me a lot of Bill Clinton. Those two guys were in church on sunday holding a bible everytime they got in trouble (so they were in church a lot).

Reality

July 15th, 2009
10:49 am

The drive by blogger posts again. Why do the posters even bother asking him questions or addressing him? He simply posts and completely ignores everything after that point.

1eyedJack

July 15th, 2009
10:54 am

The person at the top should take the responsibilty. It just shows how little class Bobby has that his personal record is more important than the team. Bobby is a cheater, and Richt is becoming a chip off the old block. Hopefully CMR will learn from this and realize that you can’t thump the bible and ignore what your players are doing off the field.

Sloan

July 15th, 2009
10:54 am

Since when did a statistical race for a record (albeit a dubious one at best since 40 of BB’s wins were not at the D-1 level) take precedence over the concept of “lack of institutional control”. Just because Bobby didn’t know about this doesn’t mean he shouldn’t receive punishment. That precendent has been set and upheld over the past several years by the NCAA.

Tony, Bobby Bowden is a super charming fellow when he wants to be. Especially in a recruit’s home or in front of you media types, but that doesn’t mean he deserves special treatment from the NCAA.

ST. Bobby

July 15th, 2009
11:03 am

Dadgummit, we don’t have time for all of these distractions, we got a football game to play.

They are just boys being boys.

There are worst things that could have happened.

All from the man himself.

gatorref

July 15th, 2009
11:08 am

Father of 5,

I never said my life has changed because of Tebow – you are changing the subject. In you original post you stated that Meyer was “morally bankrupt”. In the 80’s and 90’s you wouldn’t give a $h** about Meyer or the gators – but since we now own your sorry a$$noles you want to appear as though you care about academics – FSU is a second rate team, a second rate school, and you are a first rate jerk – quit standing on the pretense that Bowden is some saint – he needs to quit coaching – he is NOT bigger than the game.

Gene Chizik

July 15th, 2009
11:11 am

Anyone wanna play college football? I got plenty of scholarships available.

Warrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr weagle

Coach Chizzzzz

Dr. Phil

July 15th, 2009
11:13 am

The football team is an adjunct to the university, regardless of what some coaches and fat-cat donors think. If there are over 50 athletes cheating, and Bobby doesn’t know about it, then he is not paying attention or intentionally turning his head. Sorry, but the coach is responsible for everything that goes on with his program. Bowden has run a dirty program at FSU. The NCAA is not going to buckle under on this one. My advice to Bobby is “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

Holly

July 15th, 2009
11:14 am

Jim,

I appreciate that we can have a respectable argument, unlike others on this board. I can see where you are coming from, but would like you to consider this:

Other schools DO have computer labs in their Athletic Departments, so there is no competitive advantage in regards to what is being offered to the student athletes at Florida State.

Also, you cannot say that the students athletes were cheating to stay eligible. Do you know for a fact that ALL of them where only ONE class away from not being eligible. The fact is, you don’t know their academic standing. Even if they had not cheated on that one test…even if they FAILED that class, they may have been eligible to play.

Regardless of the motivations, the PLAYERS should be punished. I do agree with that. I will even buy that Bobby Bowden should say more or be more active with the discipline. I just feel that FSU’s self-imposed punishment was sufficient and vacating wins is not necessary. The players sat out 1/3 of their season. All student athletes that took that course (whether they cheated or not) had to retake the course. Scholarships were also taken away.

Vacating wins will set a precedent and will also open a can of worms. What is the NCAA going to do? Go through the academic history of the 1200 member schools and see if ANY student cheated on a Friday and competed on a Saturday? All those wins should also be vacated. It is not a reasonable precedent to set. I think they should make an example out of FSU TURNING THEMSELVES IN and accept within reason the self imposed penalty. Now, they are only making it unattractive for an institution to turn themselves in.

Anonymous

July 15th, 2009
11:15 am

Hey Father of 5, you may want to go try for number 6 to take a little edge off your day.
You know not of which you speak regarding UF, it’s academics, Meyer’s character or his legacy.

Johnny DangerDawg

July 15th, 2009
11:16 am

But sports punishments ALWAYS hurt people who didn’t know about the crime. If an all-star MLB player is using steroids without his teammates and coaches knowledge, doesn’t his suspension hurt the ENTIRE TEAM’s chances of winning the division? If a starting QB at some school gets suspended because of a DUI or a bar fight or bad grades, doesn’t his whole team suffer losses? Didn’t Michigan fans and players suffer when Michigan lost its championship because of Chris Webber taking money without their knowledge? Bobby Bowden’s fate is just as fair/unfair as any other coach or player of fan who doesn’t know that people around him are doing bad things.

Lord of The LIzards

July 15th, 2009
11:16 am

Wow, some great astute comments on ths subject today. I’ve got to admit, CharlotteGator is bringin’ it! Seems that Bobby supporters are in the vast minority.

Gen Neyland

July 15th, 2009
11:19 am

Bobby’s turn in the Iron maiden, heh..?

Tide Rising

July 15th, 2009
11:20 am

As an Alabama fan of the other school that had to vacate 21 wins because of textbooks I can tell you the vacated wins may seem like a joke of a penalty but we don’t view it that way. I doubt Bowden sees it that way either. The penalties did exactly what they were supposed to do which was to wipe out accomplishments of the coach and program and diminish their stature.

In our case the vacated wins take us from being the winningest program of the last 100 years to being 4th or 5th over that same time span and they take us from being a top 5 program in all time number of wins to now being 8th on the all time win total list. You can laugh about it as still being light but to Bama fans who are very proud of our storied tradition and history its no laughing matter.

In Bowden’s case I suspect its the same thing. It will forever mar his many accomplishments and automatically seal his fate in the race with Paterno for all time coaching wins. I’m not debating if its fair or not, just saying that vacating wins is more severe a penalty than what some people here think it is.

Lord of The LIzards

July 15th, 2009
11:20 am

BTW…Can’t wait for Dumbo Fisher to take over as I think this will be Bobbys last year. It’s gonna be just like having ol Ray Goof at Georgia again!

John Holmes

July 15th, 2009
11:22 am

If you children think this kind of thing isn’t going on at your schools every year, you’re crazy. Half of jopa’s team for most of this decade was pictured in the media guide and the police station. As your schools get caught, we will have to put up with your squeals of injustice so lose the jealousy. And for you FSU “fans,” most of you were still riding in your daddy’s sack when Bowden took over a program that had just lost over 20 games in a row and along with Miami were everyone’s choice for homecoming. Show a little respect. If it wasn’t for Bowden, you would be too ashamed to put on the warpaint every Saturday.

jumbeauxtiger

July 15th, 2009
11:28 am

I agree with you Tide Rising. For fans of those programs it is not a light penalty.

blord

July 15th, 2009
11:30 am

wow. Some harsh words on here. I am a huge FSU fan and of course a Bobby fan although it may be time for FSU to move on. This is a tough issue because these were infractions that were not just football related. I hate to see the wins taken away because that really only punishes one man in Bobby but honestly what else do you do? That really is only a slap on the wrist for the University. I don’t think Bobby would want the school to have a loss of scholarships. That hurts the program and the kids. That might be the more appropriate punishment but as a fan I would rather have past wins taken away rather than have future success hindered. Just because the NCAA says a win over Maryland (just naming a team) didn’t take place a few years ago doesn’t mean anything. Heck I watched it happen. I respect the University for turning itself in. I respect Bobby and all he has accomplished. However, I don’t know an alternative that would be a sufficient punishment for the crime that would not hurt the program. Your goal as a leader should be to leave things better when you leave then when you got there. As a leader I would hope Bobby would rather take the punishment rather than have the program damaged upon his exit. I would hope he would want the next coaching staff to have the best opportunity for success. I will say that there have been a few harsh words on here about Bobby personally where it appears that individuals are questioning his integrity. That in my opinion is uncalled for since I have never known or heard anyone who personally knows the guy confess that Bobby is anything but a guy who TRIES to do things right and is sincerely the person he claims to be. Just my thoughts.

Tony Barnhart

July 15th, 2009
11:35 am

Several things:

First of all, it wasn’t Bobby Bowden’s idea to dock Florida State scholarships. That was my suggestion as a more appropriate punishment than vacating wins. I think the whole idea of vacating wins is stupid. It shouldn’t happen at Alabama either.

On the issue of the wins at Samford. The NCAA rule book directly deals with this and by their rules, the wins at Samford count.

My total point in all of this is not a special standard for Bobby Bowden, it’s about the NCAA inserting itself into this situation between Bowden and Paterno. Florida State should be punished. I just don’t believe this is the appropriate punishment.

Tony B.

ST. Bobby

July 15th, 2009
11:35 am

Dumbo Fisher has been running the show for 2 years now. Look at the results…

G8R GRAD

July 15th, 2009
11:38 am

After the FSU defense continually beat Danny Weurfel to a pulp after the play was whistled over, SOS accused them of late hitting. To which Ol’ Booby responded by stating that he and his coaches teach their boys to, “hit on the echo!”
I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’

CharlotteGator

July 15th, 2009
11:38 am

John Holmes,

You’re right, easy gimmie classes exist in every University in the country. At UF it was Man’s Food, Softball I and II, etc. The difference is when the athletes get to take those classes and still cheat with either test copies or other people doing their work.

When I was a student the hardest thing to reconcile was that it didn’t feel like the athletes were attending the same school. Between their paid for tutors, study halls, and any other tool possible to help them succeed, it felt like they had a leg up on the rest of us schmoes who had to figure it out ourselves. Of course, I didn’t get up at 5, lift, run, take all my classes between 8-12 so I could practice from 2-6, then watch film, then try and have a life so I learned to live with what I perceived was an edge for them.

All that said though, if it comes out that there’s rampant academic scandal at UF, Hummers and Escalades are being given away, etc., then we deserve what we get. No place for that stuff at big-time programs that should in effect sell themselves. I’m sure the cries of “you must be cheating if you’re having success” will rain down, but there’s nothing you can do about that argument. Hard to prove a negative. Of course, if that’s the rule we’re going to live with, then we should take a look at UGA gymnastics, Boston U ice hockey, UNC soccer, and Stanford’s entire athletic department since they keep winning the Director’s Cup. They have to be cheating to have had the most successful athletic dept./programs year in year out it seems.

ST. Bobby

July 15th, 2009
11:39 am

As long as Bobby continues to chase Joepa, he continues to bring FSU down to the level he found it. They are not a top tier team any more and have not been since ST. Richt vacated his position.

Ken Stallings

July 15th, 2009
11:40 am

So what you’re really saying Tommy Barnhart is that the team concept applies until it affects the coach, then it no longer applies!

FSU used ineligible players to win those games. These players maintained the appearance of meeting ACC and NCAA academic standards for eligibility by organized academic cheating. Their play affected the quality of their efforts against their opponents.

It is entirely fair these victories be vacated. Personally, the NCAA should have gone further and forfeited those victories, officially handing the victories to the opponents who lost.

Bowden made the ultimate recruiting decision on those players. He was negligent in not better ensuring the character and integrity of his recruits. As head coach, he is directly responsible for everything his team does, on campus and off. Failure to maintain sufficient oversight on player conduct is simply unacceptable, and goes to the heart of Bowden’s personal failure. That Bowden maintains ignorance of such a systemic cheating scandal speaks poorly to this coaching skills.

It’s a high standard, but it is why head coaches are the most highly paid state employees across the nation. In terms of the impact on the players, Bowden losing 14 victories from his record is a very small price to pay. It is time the old boys network association die. Extremely few support Bowden’s arguments on this one, and fewer still support the NCAA giving Bowden a pass.

He got what he deserved, and he deserved more! A lesser coach would have lost his career. And no one, including you, would have publicly lamented such a firing, and no one seems to lament the fate of the players. They all deserve their punishment in full measure applied!

ricardo

July 15th, 2009
11:41 am

It would seem appropriate to dock FSU both scholarships and wins. That would be the true punishment by the NCAA if you look at the rule book. Academic integrity was compromised and that’s a major violation. If Bama was docked 21 wins for providing textbooks to players girlfriends, FSU should be docked at least 21 wins, as well as 10-15 scholarships, bowl bans for several years and lack of TV coverage. That’s the rules. If you don’t like the rules, you can’t be involved with the NCAA.

1eyedJack

July 15th, 2009
11:45 am

St. Richt is probably as much responible as Bobby for the cheating at FSU. So maybe GA should vacate some wins instead. Since they don’t have a great winnnig tradition they shouldn’t care.

Greg

July 15th, 2009
11:45 am

blord,

I was friends with one of Bobby’s family members in 1988 when Bobby let Deion Sanders play in the 1989 Sugar Bowl, even though Deion had been arrested for assault (and later pleaded guilty). My friends words were, “I can’t believe he’s letting Deion play – he’s selling out!”

Let’s also remember that if Bobby was in Jimbo Fisher’s position, and was left with scholarship reductions, Bobby would be the first to say, “It’s terrible that they’re punishing a coach and players that weren’t even around when these infractions happened!” Yet now he’s willing to sacrifice that for his own personal record.

And, finally, I still have yet to hear any FSU fan (or Tony) defend the idea of counting the Howard wins just because Samford is now Div 1-A. Can ANYONE make an argument for that to me?

ST. Bobby

July 15th, 2009
11:46 am

Arent they all supposed to be “STUDENT” athletes?

Students first and foremost? This was violated, they won the games with cheaters and should have to forfeit those victories. It makes it even worse that the cheating occured at the athletic computer room. Who is monitoring that area?

Anonymous

July 15th, 2009
11:48 am

I’ve always liked Bobby, but he sure does have a short memory for FSU’s NCAA major infractions:

Institution: Florida State University

1. Date: March 6, 2009

Violation Summary: Violations of NCAA legislation involving three former University Athletics Academic Support Services staff members (including a former learning specialist) who gave improper assistance resulting in academic fraud to numerous student-athletes representing multiple sport programs. There were also associated violations relating to the provision of impermissible benefits and a failure to monitor by the institution.[ON APPEAL]

2. Date: March 19, 1996

Violation Summary: FAILURE TO MONITOR: Institutional representatives failed to take appropriate action in response to information indicating that sports agents might be involved with student-athletes. Had these individuals adequately investigated or monitored these situations, the university might have prevented or detected earlier the violations of amateurism legislation. [UPHELD ON APPEAL.]

3. Date: June 12, 1984

Violation Summary: Improper recruiting inducements.

Penalty Summary: Public reprimand.

FSU was also cited by the NCAA for improper financial aid to football players in 1974, but that was the year before Bobby arrived in Tallahassee.

If the vacation of Alabama’s 21 wins stands, then so should the forfeiture of 14 football wins by FSU. The academic cheating at FSU occurred with the connivance of athletic department academic support personnel. Multiple tutors, multiple athletes and multiple sports were involved, and because they improperly received passing grades in classes in which they cheated, each of the involved athletes was ineligible to play sports during the semesters that they fell below their required hours. End of story.

This is not about Bobby, so let’s not try to make it about him. It’s about academic fraud, and FSU’s failure to maintain institution control over its academic tutoring program. The consequences of cheating should be a warning to all college sports programs.

Irish-Heel

July 15th, 2009
11:48 am

Regardless whether BB knew or did not know what was going on is no excuse. The head coach of the program gets paid a great deal of money. he gets a great deal of credit when the team wins, but he also has to take responsibility for the players under him. That is justification for big-time salary. Sorry Bobby, the corruption that has hovered over Panhandle has been there for a while. Just call this paying the price for past transgressions.

Otto

July 15th, 2009
11:53 am

How has CMR or Bowden cheated?

If these kids want to cheat they will. The Athletic Department did not help them or cover it up. Punish these kids as any other student with academic probation or kicking them out of school.

The coaches played the players with what they knew at the time and won or lost give them and the team credit.

Lesser coaches would have lost their career? I would argue lesser coaches would not even be a blip on the radar.

Lost scholarships or vacated wins is completely over the top.

I don’t like it and I think the NCAA needs to be overthrown.

IDC

July 15th, 2009
11:54 am

Tony, so now we not only give star athletes a pass, we now give them to coaches who have been able to live long enough to be tying for a record with another old geezer. The NCAA is not inserting themselves in the Bowden/Paterno issue. That you would even suggest that indicates that taking away the games is the proper thing to do. Since when have coaches’ records been more important than the integrity of the athletes they are coaching? Will Bowden and Paterno continue coaching until they require teleprompters to remember their own names for the sake of the record and will media types continue to act like they have anything to do with the play on the field?

Tide Rising

July 15th, 2009
11:55 am

Tony,

What would you have suggested for punishment for example in the Alabama case? Personally I would have rather had some schollies yanked and a much bigger fine rather than have our history tarnished. Hitting someone really hard in the wallet tends to work.

The schools bear the brunt of responsibility for not being on top of things but shouldn’t the athletes doing the intentional cheating be punished a little more as in having their scholarships yanked by the ncaa for 1 year? It seems to me that they should garner a little more responsibility for their selfish actions. I know they’re young men in their 20s but we also have 17-19 year old teens in Iraq and Afghanistan shouldering a lot of responsibility

Greg

July 15th, 2009
11:55 am

Ok, Tony, you say, “On the issue of the wins at Samford. The NCAA rule book directly deals with this and by their rules, the wins at Samford count.”

Well, now the NCAA is “directly” dealing with the issue of FSU players cheating on exams, “by their rules.” Yet, this time you write that it just isn’t fair.

You can’t decide what NCAA rulings you’re willing to accept (”Yes – I’ll have the Howard wins, but no vacating wins for cheating scandals. Thank you!”).

If you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Stop trying to apply a double standard.

blord

July 15th, 2009
12:04 pm

Greg,
I hear your points and they are well taken. On the Deion thing though… Bobby has always had the same stance on when players do bad things. He has always said he didn’t want to hurt the team when one guy does something wrong. You and I may not agree with this stance but I do have to respect his honesty about it and in some strange way it almost makes sense. Not what I would do but he has always felt that way and acted in that manner.

On the Samford thing you have not heard a debate on it because there really isn’t one to be made.

Atlanta Gator

July 15th, 2009
12:05 pm

Holly—-Student athletes must take and pass at least 12 semester hours during the semesters they are eligible to play NCAA sports, and very few players take more than the minimum during their sports seasons. Because players must average 15 hours per semester to graduate on time, most student-athletes attend summer school, too. If a player received a failing grade for having cheated during a given semester, he (or she) may be ruled to be ineligible during the semester it occurred and during subsequent semesters for failure to maintain sufficient progress toward a degree.

This is serious stuff. Ask Georgia Tech about the football wins they were forced to vacate for playing ineligible players. I don’t see how FSU is any different than Tech, and why it deserves any different treatment.

Greg

July 15th, 2009
12:16 pm

Thanks blord. I would agree that he’s been consistent, at least since 1988, although I would probably argue that it’s really himself that he doesn’t want to hurt when one guy does something wrong.

Not that he’s the only coach that does that. I always get a kick out of the 1-2 game suspensions coaches give players at the beginning of the year, when those first couple of games are usually against patsies. It just drives me crazy that Bowden does that, yet maintains this “dadgum” aura of moral superiority (as evidenced by many of the FSU fans’ arguments on this blog today).

Paddy

July 15th, 2009
12:16 pm

Otto, we seem to be in the minority. Vacated wins, absolutly not. Lost scholarships is debatable but probably the right thing to do by the University. The part of the oversite of these types of programs was removed from Bowden and his staff a few years ago. They had no input nor any knowledge of the inter-workings of theses types of academics. That responsibility was no longer theirs to supervise. You can’t now go back and accuse Bowden and his staff of looking the other way or cheating. They were not allowed anywhere near these programs. Ineligible players were held out of games last season ( 2-4 games each). They played players they thought were in good standing. No malice aforthought on their part. Vacating games is overkill and mean spirited by the NCAA. Like Tony says, find another punishment if you must. I still don’t care for FSU, but what is right is right regardless of how you feel about Bowden and this program. Institutional control is a non-issue for FSU football in this particular circumstance. They had no control because it was taken away from them.

TommyP

July 15th, 2009
12:17 pm

Free Shoes University….the Deion situation…several other situations. Bobby Bowden may never have been implicated, but man, where there’s smoke for that many years, there’s fire.

The fact is that Tony is a personal friend of Bobby. You’re not going to get a neutral view here.

Mac

July 15th, 2009
12:18 pm

South Georgia College, a lovely school started around the turn of the last century, is indeed, a two-year school. However, it has never had “Junior,” in its name. Johnny Griffith coached there after being ejected from Athens.

Holly

July 15th, 2009
12:21 pm

Johnny DangerDawg- Are you suggesting that every game in Major League Baseball in which a steroid-using player participated, a win should be vacated? That is the same thing.

My only point in all of this, is that changing records gets messy. Whose wins do you take away? The records of almost EVERY program in this country, collegiate or professional, would change if this became common practice. PUNISHMENT SHOULD HAPPEN- but in an effort to not retrospectively change every sport team/league record in the history of the US, we should punish the students or the athletes in the future (either loss of scholarship, salary, kick the kids out of school, etc…).

athensdawg

July 15th, 2009
12:21 pm

hmm….you don’t see Joe Paterno losing wins….wonder why that is?

Greg

July 15th, 2009
12:21 pm

TommyP, don’t forget Sebastian Janikowski’s “diplomatic immunity.” That was always my favorite.

Atlanta Gator

July 15th, 2009
12:23 pm

Father of 5—-I’m not sure where you get your “facts,” but I was an academic tutor for the UAA (Florida’s athletic department) for 2 years while I was in grad school. Not once did I witness or hear of a tutor or other academic support person suggest or assist a student-athlete in cheating. In fact, most of us spent long hours with these kids to help them pass their harder classes the right way—-by pounding the necessary knowledge into their heads with practice.

Moreover, I tutored economics and finance, and more than half my kids were football players. The vast majority were plenty smart (ever memorized a Division I football play book?) and worked hard for their grades. Most received B’s or better in the classes for which they were seeking help from me. If you think the UF economics and finance professors knew who the student-athletes were in their classes, or that they would change grades for jocks, you clearly have little understanding of academic integrity or how a major research university works. Don’t know where you went to school, but at my alma mater it would be ludicrous to suggest that Ph.D. research economists and financiers helped 20 year-olds jocks cheat on their exams.

The UAA academic support programs are structured to force the kids to attend class, do their homework, and seek help when they are having difficulty. As a result, Florida has consistently has one of the two or three best NCAA Academic Progress Rates and graduation rates in the SEC for the past 20 years.

Please save your conspiracy theories for the faked moon landing crowd.

Greg

July 15th, 2009
12:23 pm

Atlanta Gator

July 15th, 2009
12:25 pm

Holly—-FSU’s wins will be “vacated,” not forfeited. In other words, FSU loses the wins, but the teams that FSU beat will not be able to claim the win, either. The only win-loss record affected is FSU’s.

Paddy

July 15th, 2009
12:26 pm

Atlanta Gator…FSU should be treated different than Ga Tech. Ga Tech athlectic dept had control over those academics and were charged with their supervision. FSU athletic dept.had no control over those academics and were told to butt out and leave the supervision to the academic side of the university. If you are told not to play in the street,well, daggumit stay out of the street.

Anonymous

July 15th, 2009
12:27 pm

A friend of mine, who shall remain annonymous, once coached at a D-II program (now D-I), and was offered a head coaching postion at a smaller private college. Having expressed great happiness about his new postion, I asked, “What’s the biggest difference?”
His reply was, “I’m not coaching thugs anymore!”
Now that was at a smaller program. Can you imagine the level of delinquency at a FSU or Miami!

Frozen_Gator

July 15th, 2009
12:27 pm

Tony……….Should UF get their championships back from ‘84 and ‘90 hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?????