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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180 comments Add your comment

ricardo

July 15th, 2009
8:32 am

So, the Old Man at Free Shoes University gets away with another infraction. How will the Head Coach at FSU be remembered? A whiner.

TommyGator

July 15th, 2009
8:34 am

Well, Tony, the truth about Bowden’s record is tha that 40 something of those wins came at lower division school. If those wins count towards the DI all times win record, then, Eddie Robinson is the All Time Winningest Coach in NCAA History.

Bowden has had a great career and is an admirable character. But his “Aw shucks”, good ole boy persona should not be a free pass to undeserved glory. He has a great record; let him stand on that, but under the same rules as everyone else.

Eric

July 15th, 2009
8:36 am

In most cases vacating past wins is no punishment at all. This case is obviously different. This action will punish no one but Bobby Bowden. The alabama case is silly. It’s not a punishment. I agree with Tony, the NCAA should find another way…in both cases. Scholarship reductions are in order. If punishment is handed down, it should have some teeth.

Jim

July 15th, 2009
8:48 am

Tony, the players had a distinct competitive advantage. They cheated (whether Bowden knew about it or not) on an exam to stay eligible. I don’t see you writing a column about how unfair it is for Nick Saban to have to vacate wins because his players gave textbooks to friends (note: the books were not sold, no money changed hands). How can Bowden dispute this? He is the face of the program. His players (a whole lot of ‘em) cheated on a test for the sole purpose of staying eligible for the following season. They successful cheated, remained eligible and played the next season. When did life start having to be fair? But if Bowden is the face, leader, general of the football program, who then deserves to be punished? The kids were eligible and played the following season. Should FSU vacate the wins and Bowden keep them? Who should be held responsible if Bowden can count those victories as legitimate wins?

KR

July 15th, 2009
8:51 am

Sorry Tony, but I have to disagree.

Whether or not he knew about it, the events happened on his watch. One of the downsides of being at the top is that ultimately, he is responsible for everything that happens to the football team.

I happen to think that vacating wins is generally a meaningless act. But, are Bowden and FSU ready to deal with the NCAA? Maybe take a 1 or 2 year ban on television and loss of scholarships in exchange for keeping the wins? I seriously doubt that.

m

July 15th, 2009
8:57 am

Bobby has that Selective vision…he just sees what he wants to see and he just looks the other way when he needs “plausible deniability”.

Heck, as old as he is, just let him keep cheating and let him join the sec…where cheating is admired…and expected.

Paul Slimebaum

July 15th, 2009
8:57 am

Hey look at me!! LOOK AT ME!!! I love to p**s everybody off except of course for the Mighty Saban! Isn’t he going to be the winningest all time coach anyway, so who cares about Joe blow or Ol Man Bobby anyway?? Hey look at me! I’m the Lane Kiffin of sports radio!!!

Jim

July 15th, 2009
8:57 am

Good Ol’ Bobby….I’m praying for a misdemeanor… is one of the biggest hypocrites to ever grace a college football field. He sold out in the 80’s when he was on the verge of being run out of Tallahassee.

I say, take away the wins at Howard/Samford, give Bobby back the 14 wins and hammer FSU with scholarship reductions for “Lack of Institutional Control”….which is what should have been done in the first place.

FSU “self” reported once they were sued and the cat was out of the bag.

CharlotteGator

July 15th, 2009
8:59 am

I’m really trying my best to avoid bias, but I have to disagree on this one. If this was anyone else but Bowden, would we be having this discussion? Why no outrage over the title winning track team and what they might have to vacate? Who’s going to protect Mike Shula’s legacy? ;) I’ve never quite understood the love affair with Bowden. Is he getting to “aww…look at the old guy” mode? Why do his victories count from the D-II schools he coached at?

Ok, I’m probably going to far at this point, it’s just interesting that there are all these calls to protect Bowden when the penalties to the program could have been a lot worse. (I think the NCAA actually said that). Wasn’t Harrick villified for the same type of thing at UGA? Seems like the question is would FSU prefer a penalty that hurts the athletic program or one that hurts Bowden. Their responses seem to answer that question in a way that, in my opinion is sad.

FSUfan15

July 15th, 2009
9:00 am

Well said Jim and KR. Pleading ignorance is a tired defense….I’ve been an FSU fan my whole life, but this whole situation is starting to border on embarrassing.

TommyGator: Eddie Robinson is the winningest coach in Division 1-AA history. But he is still behind Division III coach John Gagliardi of St. Johns in Minnesota for overall wins in college football. Of course, JoePa and Bowden are behind both of them.

JM

July 15th, 2009
9:02 am

I wholeheartedly agree with Tony, but then again, I am an alumni of Samford University (where both Bobby and Terry coached – I was there while Terry was the coach in the early ’90’s) and a big fan of Bobby and FSU.

Me

July 15th, 2009
9:02 am

Unfortunately for BB, academic fraud is serious stuff and must be dealt with a severe penalty. Actually, the school is getting off rather easy, and if not for Bowdens race for most wins, they would be pretty happy in Tally.

Not Disappointed

July 15th, 2009
9:03 am

Tony, I know it’s own his watch, but some punishment is in order with teeth. I don’t know if wins are the answer. But, taking away wins does hurt where it counts. Just one of many opinions.

Ramblin Wreck Yall!!!

MyWhiskeyClear

July 15th, 2009
9:11 am

I don’t think there’s gonna be much sympathy in this state for things like this. Maybe Bowden WOULD HAVE BEEN the winningest coach…if he could keep his players from cheating. As far as I’m concerned, I can see why the NCAA is doing it this way. You win a game by cheating, then you haven’t won the game. He wants those wins back then he needs to outlast JoePa and win more. More than likely the rest of the CFB world feels the same way…at least the rest of SEC-ACC country.

Peter Warrick

July 15th, 2009
9:13 am

Hey, why is everyone up in my mans buziness anyway?? You acting like he shot the Prezident or something.

FSUfan15

July 15th, 2009
9:16 am

Peter Warrick, shouldn’t you be in a Dillard’s store somewhere getting a severe discount on clothing? :-)

Gandalf, the White! (!)

July 15th, 2009
9:17 am

The school cheated…it’s that simple. The wins aren’t the coaches, they are the schools. Get real here.

Parrish

July 15th, 2009
9:19 am

The kids cheated, they played in games, therefore you need to vacate them. Having fewer wins than JoePa is such a non issue. Outside of his family and crazy FSU fans, who cares about this?

Booyah

July 15th, 2009
9:22 am

Pointless article. As TommyGator pointed out, Bowden shouldn’t even be in the discussion of winningest coach.

If you’re talking about the winningest coach in Division 1-A, Paterno has it hands down, as 31 of Bowden’s wins came when he coached at 1-AA Samford (formerly Howard). This puts Bowden at 351 wins and Paterno at 383.

If you’re talking winningest coach in Division 1 (both A and AA), Eddie Robinson takes the cake with 408 wins.

Winningest coach for all of college football is John Gagliardi with 461.

Father of 5

July 15th, 2009
9:22 am

The NCAA is a joke anyway. Go ahead and “vacate” wins — college football is the greatest game on the field, and the biggest joke off the field. Everyone knows who won on the field.

As for the horrible “scandal” — the only one who should have been punished is the lazy “teacher” who gave is class a take-home on-line exam. Incredibly lazy, and begging for cheating. U of Fla has more video courses, on-line courses, less teacher/student interaction, and more opportunity for cheating than any university anywhere. The difference is that everyone in Gainesville is trained to cover up problems, not expose them. The issue at FSU involved athletes of many sports, in a known “gimmie” class. The track team faces a loss of a national championship if wins are “vacated.” Idiotic penalty. Regardless, everyone knows who won on the field.

As for ripping Bowden’s character, I would send my sons to play for a man like him and Richt every day of the week and twice on Sunday — over morally bankrupt coaches with better resumes like Meyer or Saban. Some things count more in life (and beyond). But that’s just me.

dfgator

July 15th, 2009
9:23 am

St. Bobby has always been on the edge when it comes to the education process. Deion Sanders even had a rule made in his honor that said student athletes should actually GO TO CLASS. To me it is like a serial criminal that is caught on tax charges, yes it is a technicality but it has been a long time in the making.

JoePa should get the record; he at least is involved in practices. Bobby just sits in the tower at practice and seems lost on the side line during games. I am tired of watching two men battle for a title their assistants are doing the work for.

Michael G.

July 15th, 2009
9:24 am

So bobby would rather accept scholarship reductions, which would put a undue burden on some players on his team, rather than vacate a couple of wins? What kind of me first ego trip is he teaching his kids in Tallahassee? No wonder FSU has been average at best in football the last 10 years. Time to go sit on your back porch, drink country time lemonade, and retire.

Shame on you, Tony, for defending this egotistical position.

Miles

July 15th, 2009
9:26 am

Accountability, oversight, and instituional control are the issues relative to the cheating scandal. Bowden’s lowly and unbelievable response to theses issues is, “I’m just the football coach and therefore I should not be held accountable nor should have I been proactively overseeing my football program. Moreover, it’s the responsibility of the university to exert its control over the behavior of my knucklehead football players.” Maybe Bowden should have sought the advice of John Wooden in terms of how to ignore ethical issues relative to your program, yet still appear holier than thou.

mark

July 15th, 2009
9:32 am

Tony,

I am surprised by your attitude on this. Are you really saying the rules should be different for Bobby Bowden because he has a chance to see a record? If he was 20 wins behind Paterno or if this was another school where this was not a factor then this woul dbe OK?

In reality, the NCAA is doing FSU a huge favor by not hitting them hard with scholarship reductions and other limitations that would actually affect the program going forward and hurt. This “punishment” is only to Bobby Bowden’s vanity and ego and I am still shocked that FSU is pushing the NCAA to consider something else that would actually make it harder for them to be successful on the field.

Also, I think you really need to dig into the details of this regarding Bobby’s comments that they reported it as soon as found out as suspended those involved. FSU’s first try at this was to suspend a small number of kids across a number of sports (3-4 football) and thens tick their head in the sand and hope that would take care of it. Only after the parent of one of the kids in another sport who was suspended made noise about it being unfair to his daughter when so many other were involved did they really look at it and “my goodness”, there were a lot more involved including 30+ football players. Funny how that did not occur till the end of football season after FSU had lost any chance for titles or big bowl games and was headed to the Music City bowl.

FSU has been anything but cooperative with the NCAA in this process and they should not be allowed to pick their punishment. Personally, I would rather see them hit with scholarship reductions and other penalties to weaken them in the future but the whole idea that the NCAA should do something different because he is Bobby Bowden is wrong and a double standard.

PTC DAWG

July 15th, 2009
9:33 am

Dadgummit…

Bobby, I’ve always liked you..but at this point, you are acting like a little selfish kid.

Greg

July 15th, 2009
9:34 am

So for years Saint Bobby said, “Aw, shucks – I don’t even pay attention to that ‘most wins’ race!”

Now that he might lose it, he says, “That @%$#@ NCAA committee!! I can’t believe they’re doing this to me!”

Do you need any better proof that Saint Bobby’s “Aw shucks, dang it” personality is just an act?!

Terry

July 15th, 2009
9:37 am

Sorry, Mr College Football, Coach Bowden already has an asterisk next to his name. The wins at Howard should never had counted as D1 wins.

Chris

July 15th, 2009
9:38 am

Yep stick up for someone who breaks the rules tony. what a guy you are. rules are rules. fsu broke them. and how many other rules dontcha know they broke and never got caught. come on. they had some really bad seeds at that school from 90-2002. too bad bobby. now go retire and leave cf once and for all. tired of hearing you whine.

Greg

July 15th, 2009
9:40 am

Your views here aren’t getting a lot of love, Tony. Would you like to issue a retraction?

gatorref

July 15th, 2009
9:42 am

To father of 5 – you said “some things count more in life” – pleazzzeeee

Don’t try to judge Meyer and paint Bowden as a saint just because FSU is not competitive anymore.
Bowden and FSU fans totally overlooked all of their crooked ways in the 80’s and 90’s.

john

July 15th, 2009
9:44 am

A cheat is a cheat. Bonds, Clemens, Bowden. None of whom should get credit for the things that happened during the time they cheated. If passing a test kept them in football, how could it be seen as anything but CHEATING…………

Otto

July 15th, 2009
9:44 am

I don’t think Bama or FSU should vacate wins or give up scholarships for the players actions. I think the students should be punished in the way as any other student

I don’t think Bobby’s wins he had at a lower should count the same as JoePa’s D1 wins.

The NCAA does not treat things consistantly. An example is OU with Bomar and OSU with Troy Smith. They both take money. OU kicks Bomar off the team and is forced to vacate wins. Troy goes on to win a national title.

Also when is anything going to happen with USC? or is the NCAA in love with that LA market being the only pro team in town?

Mike

July 15th, 2009
9:46 am

Bobby “Over The Hill” Bowden seems to only be interested in the NCAA not taking his wins away. I haven’t heard him say anything remorseful or about how unfortunate this whole affair is. Just another sign that he should go quietly into the sunset. Don’t be a whining old man!

Barnhart = Bowden

July 15th, 2009
9:49 am

Wait. Wait! Tony spoke with Bobby, Terry, Jeff and the rest of the Bowden group who everyone knows and PUBLICLY knows have cheated and bent the rules for years yet somehow reached a different conclusion. The PUBLIC is tired of this Tony. And the aw, shucks attitude isn’t working. We should ban you from reporting.

Nachos

July 15th, 2009
10:02 am

Terry Bowden will do better recruiting in Alabama than Gene Chizik ever will.

Rob

July 15th, 2009
10:02 am

Old man Bowden has been cheating for years…he just hasn’t been caught!
Take those wins away!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Holly

July 15th, 2009
10:02 am

You can’t say those students were necessarily cheating to stay eligible. It is not as if that one test would determine eligibility. Even if they failed that class, it is the GPA and progression toward degree that determines whether they are eligible or not. Each student was at a different point in their academic career, so I am sure the motives vary.

I’m not excusing the actions of the students, but I want it understood that the motives were most likely not competitive advantage as this one test was not going to effect the academic standing of most of those students. I would assume that most of the students were just lazy and wanted to get through with it. In all honesty, any teacher that gives an online test makes the assumption that students will go home and look up the answers, talk to roommates or even talk to TEAMMATES. The problem here, was that the tests taken by student athletes were taken on the athletic center’s computers, so it becomes an issue of institutional control when student athletes are passing around answers.

I would also like to point out that Bobby Bowden is not the head of FSU athletics. There is NO WAY for a coach on any team to be able to track what their players are doing in every office that touches athletics- compliance, media relations, boosters, marketing, life skills, academic support…The Director of Athletics at Florida State at that time was Dave Hart, who is now at Alabama as an Associate AD. He was the “head of the corporation” so to speak, not Bobby Bowden.

I don’t think Bobby Bowden is whining about anything. He is backing the stance that the University has taken. All of this is very simple- you cannot track what every student in every sport does. Does cheating make a student ineligible? Yes. Are you going to follow every NCAA student to class and make sure they aren’t looking on the paper next to them. No. You have to give some blind faith to your student athletes everyday at every school. The only discipline you can take is reactionary, which FSU DID. They made each student athlete sit out a THIRD of their season even if that test had no bearing on their eligibility, they conducted a private investigation in addition to the investigation by the NCAA, and they put themselves on probation. I think that is more than sufficient.

DoctorC

July 15th, 2009
10:05 am

In his argument, Tony presents yet another example of what has gone wrong to diminish America’s once true greatness. Is there not a college football coach(or politician)remaining today with an ounce of integrity who is willing to deny self for the greater benefit of our society? If Bobby Bowden really wants to live the image he presents of himself, then he would be the first person to WANT to use this example for his players and all young people that cheating not only hurts yourself, but it also greatly harms others associated with you, your school, and your sport. Bowden could take this approach and be the kind of example he proclaims to have always been for his players, but sadly this has not happened. Unfortunately, his self ego and yearning for his own “legacy of greatness”, based upon the number of football games he has won, will take precedence over this golden opportunity to do the right thing and leave a genuine legacy of greatness by helping to show our youth, other coaches, and the world that in America, we still believe cheating has no value in sports or life. Coach Bowden, you are missing out on this, and even though I have no doubt that you did not personally participate in or condone the cheating, your athletes did and you should be the first to deny accepting credit for the tainted wins. You will leave a legacy, it remains to be seen what kind.

Greg

July 15th, 2009
10:06 am

Seriously, Tony, if you’re going to write a blog defending Bobby Bowden, after what I’m sure was a very emotional plea to you by the entire Bowden family, I think it’s only fair that you tell us your opinion of the Howard wins, as well as things like granting “diplomatic immunity” to Sebastian Janikowski.

It’s obvious that most, if not all, of us are interested in hearing those opinions.

Paddy

July 15th, 2009
10:10 am

I agree w/ tommy gator. Rules should apply to everyone and enforced evenly. What the NCAA is doing to Bowden is a disgrace. He and his staff were never the issue and never implicated. They did nothing wrong and now Bowden must vacate games? What was not mentioned in this article was if FSU wins this appel or the intended outside lawsuit against the NCAA, it will be punished again by the NCAA. They have already said if they lose they will come back and take more scholarships away from Fl St. for winning their case against them. Hows that for national leadership. Don’t like Fla St. never have. But this is wrong on so many levels.

Father of 5

July 15th, 2009
10:14 am

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

BCS Champs Again

July 15th, 2009
10:15 am

“Don’t do the crime unles you can pay the time”…..next thing you will sucking up to bama to get there wins back for their scandal….

Eric W

July 15th, 2009
10:18 am

Perhaps this is the culmination of all the “little” things that players in his program have been accused of and/or convicted of over the last 30 years. The proverbial straw that broke the camels back. I always tell my kids, the way people treat you is a result of the accumulation of your actions over time…..both good and bad.

David

July 15th, 2009
10:25 am

Greg

July 15th, 2009
10:27 am

Father of 5,

As you lump together Bobby Bowden (whom I don’t respect, due to all the times he has sold out) with Mark Richt (whom I do respect, and I’m a Gator fan!), I’m trying to remember if Richt has publicly taken the same stance as Bowden on this. In any case, I agree with DoctorC’s views that if Bobby really wants to show how great his character is, he should be saying, “Cheating is wrong. I accept any penalty given so that we can be an example to young kids of what not to do.” In fact, if he did that, I’d start to gain back some respect for him. As it is, he’s just an example of selfishness, not sportsmanship.

Paddy

July 15th, 2009
10:28 am

Mark… you are just wrong when you say FSU was uncooperative with the NCAA. The NCAA even said so themselves that FSU has done its part and in a timely fashion. FSU went even so far as having to threaten the NCAA to release its finding to the public. Finally Gov Crist said he would sue the NCAA for violation of the states “Sunshine Laws”. The NCAA soon backed down and released the findings to select news agencies who had also filed a law suit of their own. Fla St are not saints by any means. But they are getting mugged here by pompass ass wipes in the NCAA.
Go Dawgs

[...] Tony Barnhart thinks it would be fairer for the NCAA to dock FSU a few scholarships than to take Diddy’s wins away.  I wonder if Jimbo Fisher shares Barnhart’s sentiments. [...]

Greg

July 15th, 2009
10:36 am

Enter your comments here

Father of 8

July 15th, 2009
10:38 am

Got you beat, father of 5, but my having more children has nothing to do with your lack of logic and incredible insight into the academic chicanery you allege is going on at U of FL and your opinion of the morally bankrupt Meyer and Saban. I am confident you have proof of which you speak about U of F, Meyer, and Saban. How about sharing with the rest of us ignorant fans of UA and UF out here. We need more obviously brighter and morally superior people such as yourself to enlighten us.

Jim

July 15th, 2009
10:43 am

Holly,
It is absolutely competitive advantage when the players cheat to pass an exam which in turn allows them to pass the class which in turn gives them the necessary course credits to stay eligible for the following season. It is competitive advantage when the players are allowed to use means to pass the class that are not afforded to other students and not afforded to other student athletes at other institutions.

So, yes, competitive advantage was obtained by the football players cheating on the exam.
Secondly, Bowden is absolutely not in charge of FSU athletics, but he is most certainly in charge of the football program. The buck stops at his desk and he is the one that should shoulder the responsibility and blame if his players are involved in a cheating scandal like this one.

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?????

Mark

July 15th, 2009
12:29 pm

You miss the point – the “scholarship” program was designed from the beginning to make sure that Bowden/staff did not know officially about it, or they would have no defense if they were caught. Bowden has a long, long history of bending the rules for the sake of wins (see a certain Polish kicker to whom team rules do not apply, see shoplifting, see the auto shop/gambling incidident) with a “golly, gee boys will be boys” attitide and no accountability if they are needed for the next game.

Note that he said the had never been accused of cheating, not that he had never cheated. He just never got caught.

As head coach, he is accountable for what goes on with his program. If they have tutors for the players, they are accountable for the actions of the tutors. In the situation of the total wins, I totally agree that, if you are going to count his non-Division 1 wins, then you have to count Eddie Robinson’s wins the same way. If you don’t count them, JoePa is far ahead anyway. Either way Bowden in not the “winniingest coach” in any way shape or form.

ST. Bobby

July 15th, 2009
12:32 pm

holly, that bridge has already been crossed. Alabama was the most recent to have to vacate wins.

Hear, hear!

July 15th, 2009
12:33 pm

“. . . save your conspiracy theories for the faked moon landing crowd.”

(snorkle)

Atlanta Gator

July 15th, 2009
12:37 pm

Paddy—-You are mistaken. The FSU tutors involved were on the university payroll. Please check your sources. This has been widely reported in the media. You can also read the summary of the major infractions involved in the NCAA major infractions database.

The difference between Georgia Tech and FSU was that the Tech administrators responsible for certifying athletes failed to property determine that eligibility before providing that certification to the NCAA. In FSU’s case, university employees actually coached the student-athletes on how to cheat in particular classes. I’ll let you judge which offense is worse.

Holly

July 15th, 2009
12:42 pm

Atlanta Gator- I understand this is serious stuff. I have worked in collegiate academics. I just want you to understand what the actual rules are before you make your argument.

A student athletes must pass 6 hours per semester
18 hours in an academic year (fall through spring)
and 24 hours in a calender year (before the start of their sophomore year. Summer may be included)

This is all per the academic reform in 2003.

Therefore, the motivations of the students may or may not have been their eligibility.

Regardless, I NEVER want to see a student athlete cheat. I want the STUDENT to be punished more so than the program, although in some way it will always effect the institution and/or sports team.

Babba Nole

July 15th, 2009
12:42 pm

How many of you idiots have a statue of yourselves outside your place of employment? (only applies to the few on this blog that are gainfully employed)

I was at FSU when Bobby Bowden showed up. It was the modern day version of Tulane football. The stadium was a joke and the program was a joke. Bobby Bowden is personally responsible for building one of the greatest programs in the history of college football. Ten years ago we were at the top of the mountain, where UF and USC are today, and our dominance spanned an entire decade.

Every brick in the beautifully rebuilt Doak Campbell Stadium is there because of Bobby Bowden. He didn’t inherit a giant like Urban, Saban, Carrol, Myles or Richt. He took a midget and made it a dynasty one win at a time on the homefields of all of the sports greatest powers winning at USC, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio State, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Miami, Arizona State, Michigan State and many, many more.

It’s amazing how much jealousy his success has inspired at the other southern football schools. I love the man and will miss him terribly when he leaves. He gave me a lifetime of wonderful Saturday memories.

AJ

July 15th, 2009
12:47 pm

GO NOLES, BOBBY Should not be punished.

Anonymous

July 15th, 2009
12:53 pm

Babba Nole,

That may be, but if those “wonderful Saturday memories” were made with academically ineligible players, then doesn’t that taint his entire tenure?

Atlanta Gator

July 15th, 2009
12:58 pm

For the record, I quote from the NCAA infractions 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.” [spelling and syntax errors in the original]

The staff members were not “former” at the time that the cheating occurred; all were on the university payroll. The persons involved subsequently quit or were fired; that’s how they became “former” staff members.

As a Gator and native Floridian, I don’t enjoy ragging on the Seminoles for these problems. Frankly, I wish FSU would “man up,” accept their punishment, and go and sin no more. As Anonymous said above, this is not about Bobby Bowden; it’s about FSU’s athletic program being neck-deep in academic fraud sponsored by its own employees. That Bobby did not approve is irrelevant. Bobby is not being punished, the FSU athletic program is.

IM4BAMA

July 15th, 2009
1:02 pm

I really hope the NCAA reverses the decision and finds another punishment. It would be a crying shame to screw over a good man like Bobby Bowden out of the chance to be the winningest coach in history.
It would be a major dissapointment to all college football fans to prematurely end the battle between Bobby and Joe Pa. I’m pulling for you Bobby!

Babba Nole

July 15th, 2009
1:02 pm

Let’s all get real. You coach 18 to 22-year old kids for 55 years and you are going to have your share of screw ups. For every FSU player that has gone bad there is a Charlie Ward or a Derrick Brooks or a Warrick Dunn or a Peter Boulware or a Danny Kannell or a Brad Johnson or a Drew Weatherford or on and on.

By the way, Brooks and Dunn were both voted NFL Man of the Year during their NFL careers. Ask them about Bobby Bowden.

Holly

July 15th, 2009
1:09 pm

Greg- what little I could see of the article (all of it wouldn’t come up) reflects Bowden’s views on whether or not the Tulane game of 83 should have been forfeited or not, based on the transfer of a player.

I am not on here to defend Bowden or his opinion on this matter. I am only stating my opinion (this is also in response to Atlanta Gator about the difference between vacating a forfeiting).

My OPINION is this: I don’t believe in vacating wins. Whether it is FSU or Alabama. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in PUNISHMENT for a rule violation, I just don’t think taking back wins is the answer. As I posted before it gets messy. Now, if you want TRUE records you will have to research the compliance of every school in the history of the NCAA and vacate wins every time an illegible player played whether he took $20 from a booster, cheated on a test, gave away his textbooks, had a cheerleader buy him a soda. It is implausible. My opinion is that you punish once the crime has been discovered and that the punishment should be more heavily imposed upon the individual.

Greg

July 15th, 2009
1:10 pm

Babba Nole,

I agree that very few schools owe their success to one man than FSU. That’s all the more reason to hold him accountable in this situation.

Bobby has always been a master recruiter. He alone made the choice of whom to recruit. He could have recruited players that didn’t need academic help to pass their classes, or who had the character not to cheat on exams, but he probably wouldn’t have won with those types of players (can you say, “Vanderbilt?”). Instead, he recruited guys who could win on the field, but obviously had questionable character.

Those players got the wins for Bobby’s record. But, now that they’ve shown their true character by cheating, Bobby doesn’t want to take any responsibility for their actions off the field.

Sorry, Bobby. You can’t have it both ways.

Coach D

July 15th, 2009
1:17 pm

If FSU had to forfeit wins, it would be the best thing for the Seminole program in the long run because Bobby would probably retire and with him all of his ancient assistants. Then Florida State could get a new head coach and rebuild. Bobby is a legend, but legends should only get a pass to a certain point. Philip Fulmer was eventually relieved from his command and while it was sad to a degree given Fulmer’s contributions to his alma mater, it was necessary. Florida State is a mediocre program right now and the rot and decay has set in. Seminole fans should remember the good times of the Bowden years, not the lethargic final 7.

Atlanta Gator

July 15th, 2009
1:18 pm

Holly—-I stand corrected. You are quoting from the new APR rules in effect since 2003. They have changed since I last reviewed them.

However, my larger point is still valid. In order to be eligible to play NCAA sports, the athletes must pass no fewer than 6 semester hours during the relevant sports season, and no fewer than 24 in a school year (including summer session). Put another way, the FSU football players failed to pass 6 semester hours during the football season or fewer than 24 during the school as a result of their failing grades received for cheating. The athletes motivation for their cheating is irrelevant. They knowingly cheated, with the assistance of university employees, got caught, received a failing grade, failed to satisfy the APR requirements, and were declared ineligible. The NCAA rules are clear: any time a college team plays an ineligible player, any on-the-field wins are subject to forfeiture or vacation. Motive is not relevant.

The university is responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules. Instead, FSU employees sponsored the cheating. As a result, the university is being punished.

Johnny DangerDawg

July 15th, 2009
1:19 pm

Holly,
I am not suggesting that MLB teams should have to retroactively forfeit all the games in which a steroid-using player participated. I was talking about MLB players who get suspended for taking performance-enhancing drugs. The suspension of that ONE player can hurt the ENTIRE team; they might lose some close games that would have been winnable if the suspended player had been allowed to play. I’m not suggesting any changes to suspensions or penalties; I was only pointing out that innocent teammates and coaches in all sports always suffer when ONE guy breaks the rules. My point is that Bobby Bowden is not being treated any more fairly/unfairly than any other player/coach has been treated in the past.

Tide Rising

July 15th, 2009
1:20 pm

Holly,

I agree. I would like to see more punishment heaped upon the individual when they know they are flat out cheating or doing something to harm the school. Punishment would be losing your scholly for a semester or a year.

At bama one of the 5 players who was getting extra textbooks to help out a friend was a team captain and thus had his handprints cemented in the sidewalk in a traditional ceremony. Considering the damage he and the other players did to the school he should have his prints and status as a permanent team captain removed.

Start making the players who cheat accountable as well as the school. In the Alabama case it was sloppy supervision by the bookstore in disbursing textboooks but there was no intentional wrongdoing. The intentional wrongdoing fell on the part of the athletes who knowingly gamed the system and therefore I think they should bear a little more responsibility. They are no longer kids. They are now young adults.

Babba Nole

July 15th, 2009
1:22 pm

Regarding recruiting good people: How many Rhodes Scholars started on SEC teams last season?

Johnny DangerDawg

July 15th, 2009
1:25 pm

Tony,
If this were a 2nd-year head coach having to vacate wins from his first-year of head coaching, would you feel differently? For all we know, that 2nd-year head coach may go on to have an incredible number of wins by the time he’s 80; having to forfeit games now could ruin his chances of chasing a great record in the distant future. So why should Bowden get special treatment?

Atlanta Gator

July 15th, 2009
1:29 pm

BTW, we are NOT discussing an isolated incident here. We are talking about cheating by 61 different student-athletes and multiple academic support staff members. Moreover, no one here is talking about the term papers that were written by tutors that were also cited by the NCAA report on FSU.

Seriously, it’s not like one bad apple brought down the whole tree. FSU is damn lucky not to have lost scholarships, bowl eligibility and TV airtime.

IMHO, the FSU academic fraud infractions were far worse than the textbook scandal at Alabama. Not to make light of a bad situation, but how many Seminole players were caught stealing EXTRA textbooks?

Johnny DangerDawg

July 15th, 2009
1:33 pm

Tide Rising,
I agree that punishing the individual is more fair than punishing the whole team, but how often is that possible? Usually, the player has graduated or is making NFL millions by the time NCAA finishes its investigation. If the NCAA were to conclude tomorrow that Reggie Bush had indeed accepted gifts (a house for his parents) while he was at USC, they can’t exactly take away his scholarship now…

Otto

July 15th, 2009
1:40 pm

Atlanta Gator, From what I read the tutor were on the Univ. payroll but were I no way under the athletic department.

The player are adults and I was always told you would likely be kicked out of school if you cheated. IMO kick the kids out. The athletic program did their due diligence. Punish the players as adults and student. The actions were not the result of the football team.

Atlanta Gator

July 15th, 2009
1:40 pm

Babba Nole—-There were no SEC Rhodes Scholars last year, and FSU football player Myron Rolle is to be commended for his receiving the honor. He is an exceptional young man. But neither fact is terribly relevant to the discussion at hand.

Greg

July 15th, 2009
1:40 pm

I’ll say it again:

The buck stops at you, Bobby. You recruited the kinds of players who would get you the wins for your record, but they were also the kinds of players who were willing to cheat on exams. Cheating on exams is against NCAA rules. You knew the rules, and you knew the players.

Now you’re saying, “Yes, those guys broke NCAA rules, but don’t take my wins away!” If you want a clean program, you have to recruit high-character guys. But, of course, those aren’t the guys who would get you the wins, are they?

You made the bed, Bobby….

Greg

July 15th, 2009
1:44 pm

And don’t say, “But he recruited Warrick Dunn, etc.”

Yes, he did. But Warrick couldn’t win by himself, so Bobby also recruited guys who were willing to cheat.

The_Superhoo

July 15th, 2009
1:44 pm

There’s no proof Bowden or his coaches knew a THING about the cheating. And that’s the problem. If you sign on to be the leader, you have to be held responsible whether you knew about it or not.

Sorry Bobby, you deserve to lose those wins!

FDawg

July 15th, 2009
1:46 pm

Bowden and FSU have been in trouble before…multiple times. Guess ol’ Bobby forgot about the other incidents… If he wants the credit for the wins, maybe he should also take credit for some of his program’s problems. And I normally don’t side with the NCAA but in this instance I do.

Atlanta Gator

July 15th, 2009
1:47 pm

Otto—-The university IS the athletic department. They are not two separate entities. Without the university, there is no athletic department. There are no FSU Seminoles without FSU. That the staff members were not hired by the athletic department but by a stand-alone academic support unit that was supposed to be making sure the athletes were in compliance may be ironic, but it doesn’t exempt the university, athletic department, coaches and teams from sanction.

Bottom line:

university = athletic department

Several weeks ago, I commented on this same topic and took a position closer to yours. Punish the individuals, and recognize the school for coming clean. That was before I understood how deeply involved in the cheating university employees were.

The_Superhoo

July 15th, 2009
1:48 pm

Oh and for those saying “college football fans want the race for all time wins to continue,” who gives a crap?

I’m a college football fan who is counting down the days to the season’s start, and I honestly have no interest in this competition.

Babba Nole

July 15th, 2009
1:50 pm

Atlanta Gator

I was simply responding to the accusations that Bowden recruits bad kids. He recruits the same kind of kids every other college football power in the South recruits. All you have to do is look at the arrest records at Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and any other big-time school and you’ll see that’s true. Do you really think football players at UF are not cheating on exams?

We all play with the same deck and what’s taking place at FSU today could be happening at your school tomorrow. I’m just stating my belief that Bobby Bowden is an honorable man who had an exceptional career and provided a positive influence on thousands of young men.

Atlanta Gator

July 15th, 2009
1:51 pm

What Bobby knew, and when Bobby knew it are irrelevant.

The university (not Bobby Bowden) has a cheating problem. The university (not Bobby Bowden) broke NCAA rules. The university (not Bobby Bowden) got caught. The university (not Bobby Bowden) is being punished. The university (not Bobby Bowden) is vacating football wins.

Dadgummit, I hate it when the NCAA is logical.

Atlanta Gator

July 15th, 2009
2:02 pm

Babba Nole—-I agree.

I have repeatedly said that coaches and universities should be judged by how they handle troubled players after problems happen, and also by what they do to discourage behavior that results in violations of the law or NCAA rules. Bad things happen; how we handle unfortunate events is one measure of character. And part of having good character is living with the consequences of your mistakes (or those of our organizations) and working to make bad situations better.

FSU at least self-reported and self-investigated. Otherwise, the NCAA punishment would have been far heavier.

That Damn Gator is Funny!

July 15th, 2009
2:08 pm

“IMHO, the FSU academic fraud infractions were far worse than the textbook scandal at Alabama. Not to make light of a bad situation, but how many Seminole players were caught stealing EXTRA textbooks?”

I hate the damn Gators, but that Atlanta Gator is one funny guy. RTR

Reality Check

July 15th, 2009
2:11 pm

This is pathetic. If you run a program that used ineligible players, you should pay the piper. “I didn’t know that my athletes cheated for three years” sounds like a silly excuse, as does “I’m old please don’t punish me.”

Babba Nole

July 15th, 2009
2:15 pm

Atlanta Gator, we’re in agreement.

Here’s my question for you. Every coach faces adversity. Bob Stoops was a genius in 2000, by 2007, OK fans were calling him a choker. Same with “The Vest” at Ohio State. How do you think Urban will handle adversity (meaning losing) when it comes? Talk about revealing character.

CharlotteGator

July 15th, 2009
2:17 pm

Since the new standard of character is the arrest record, wonder where we could find what the arrest records are at our places of employment, church congregations, and volunteer activities. You know, so we can determine if our bosses, pastors, or volunteer organizers are “morally corrupt”.

CharlotteGator

July 15th, 2009
2:22 pm

Babba Nole,

We didn’t win anything in 2005 and 2007 and he responded by working his players hard, making them accountable to each other, not making excuses, and recruiting his butt off. When we start losing again, I imagine his response will be the same. At least that’s my hope.

If you mean scandal when you say adversity, then I hope he’ll respond with some honesty and accept the consequences of any discretions that were committed. I’m as big a Gator fan as they come, but academic fraud, improper benefits, etc. can’t be tolerated or what message do we send to the players and kids that one day want to be players.

Ken Stallings

July 15th, 2009
2:43 pm

Babba Nole,

I don’t have a statue outside my home or work, but I do have a commercial flagpole outside with large American flags flying at the top of them. I’m an active duty military officer. I paid for the one outside in my front yard at home. The government paid for the one outside my office.

Are you really trying to imply that because Bowden has a statue in his honor that he deserves a separate series of rules and bylaws governing his actions? Are you really trying to imply this should be due to the perception his job is more important than mine, or the job of other professionals?

I hope we haven’t become so crass and cynical that we openly endorse such dangerous views. Integrity is a universal standard.

Gatorzone

July 15th, 2009
2:49 pm

Dadgummit, yall get off of Bobby’s back! Their just kids! It’s just Football!
Cut the old man some slack.

Right Babba?

CrowleyDawg

July 15th, 2009
2:50 pm

The NCAA is only taking away a portion of what they giveth years earlier. By my count, Bowden is still up 17 non legitimate Div I wins. So he (and FSU) have no reason to gripe. All of Joe Pa wins are bona fide Div I wins. He deserves the title.

Chief Osceola

July 15th, 2009
3:06 pm

Hey FSU, my people called and they want their good name back.

AU

July 15th, 2009
3:18 pm

Nachos and m,

Say what you want, GT is still a little red-headed stepchild of UGA, and Bamer is still 1-6 over the past 7 years vs. AU. Whine all you want! :)

ben

July 15th, 2009
3:26 pm

Steroids, Bank fraud, Medicare fraud, sure why not let one more cheater get away with it? When we’re all huddled under a bridge speaking Chinese, you can trace it back to the lack of character that became this nation’s trademark.

Beautiful Monte

July 15th, 2009
3:57 pm

Well, who would have guessed that Tony B. would be among the millions of media types bamboozled by Booby Bowdown’s tired old “shucks and dadgummit” act?

Tony, if you recall, FSU football players – enabled and supported by good ole Booby – have been engaged in “questionable” behavior for more than two decades.

If I’m not mistaken, Dimwit Deion stopped going to class altogether during his senior season with the Noles, which, I believe, was 1988. I’m sure that good ole Booby was shocked – shocked, I tell you! – at such behavior by one of his “student”-athletes.

I realize that all ESPN employees are expected to rationalize and make excuses for every type of abhorrent behavior displayed by professional and college athletes and coaches.

Still, it’s a sad day when a “journalist” like Tony B. stoops to such a level.

R.I.P, integrity!

CCfsu84

July 15th, 2009
4:13 pm

The players did not cheat to stay eligible, it was an online open-book music history class, give me a break. Bowden confused eBay with the internet, he obviously had nothing to do with the cheating. Coaches are only allowed a certain amount of time around players, he can’t hold a 20 year old’s hand and take him to class and check his homework. Players were suspended when he found out. Also, when he was at Howard, there wasn’t the same distinction between FBS, FCS, D-1a-2a, etc. so the wins count, get over it. Either way Bowden is the greatest coach (in terms of wins) in Southeast American history.

Holly

July 15th, 2009
4:17 pm

Atlanta Gator,

My comments on motives were in response to a previous poster, not you. If a student already passed their 6 required hours for the semester and fails another class, then they are still eligible, so eligibility may not have been the motive. Either way, it is a moot point, the students still cheated.

The people on this board seem to think I want FSU to have a pass. I don’t. I just don’t like the idea of vacating wins. If those wins were going to be vacated, then FSU should have not had the players sit out the following season once they were (by academic standing) eligible again. I think the school discovers the problem and handles it from there and I feel that Florida State did that. No one got a pass- players sat out, scholarships were lost, students retook the course, FSU is on probation. Why more?

And for the record, I think what happened to Bama is worse. Wins shouldn’t be vacated there either.

Objective commentator

July 15th, 2009
4:20 pm

It’s simple:
Florida State would take the athletes that other schools, because of academic issues, wouldn’t.
FSU’s academic entrance requirements have always been more, er, how shall I put it, forgiving.
Little wonder then that Bobby ended up with a gaggle of acdemically challenged players with little or no chance of getting a degree.
Hence, their list of options being woefully short, they choose to forgo their matriculation for the shot at the NFL.
Why then work hard, study and play by the rules?
And any fun/gain to be had along the way is a bonus!

Otto

July 15th, 2009
4:21 pm

Gator I never said they weren’t Univ. employees but the athletic program and university did not encourage it. Bobby had no knowledge or power of it.

Treat the cheater as adults both the students and tutors. Fire them and/or kick them out of school. If those hiring the tutors had any knowledge fire them too.

Bobby and the team is getting punished when they did what they were supposed to.

Gen Neyland

July 15th, 2009
4:57 pm

For the most part, this has been one of the best civil discussions to date. I think people are debating not the deed itself but the end result of the infraction according to the applicable rules. I think the opinions of Atlanta Gator and Holly have been a good read. I’ll admit, I don’t know diddly about squat here so I’d have to ask, what would Sotomayor do..?

dawg07

July 15th, 2009
5:04 pm

Bowen seems more concern about his win/loss record than his team. Let the decision stand!

Tide Rising

July 15th, 2009
5:26 pm

Dadgummit! I just wanted to say that!

Otto,

At least they only took away 21 wins from Bama and didn’t mess with our 4 million win streak over UGA

Otto

July 15th, 2009
5:29 pm

…and Bama gets to claim all 12 National Titles

tiger7_88

July 15th, 2009
5:31 pm

Surprise, surprise, surprise… Tony “Mr. College Football” Barnhart, a man whose career DEPENDS on access to the Big Dogs of College Football, comes out in favor of the “haves” once again after never having been seen in defense of the “have nots”.

Knock me over with a feather.

Whadda ya think, Tony? Maybe they should just take Diddy’s pablum away for a couple of days to punish him?

cffreak

July 15th, 2009
5:31 pm

Barnhart, you’re getting sloppy.

You’re getting too tied in to the old school guys to see what’s right and what’s wrong. Bowden’s been cheating all his career, and finally, at the very end…it finally catches up to him and his long time admirers want to start crying foul. He deserves every slap he and his out of control program get!

You need to get back to center an focus again Tony. C’mon man!!

No BCS

July 15th, 2009
5:47 pm

Amazing how such a non-issue has become a huge issue. The race for most victories pretty much ended the day JoePa was given a 3-year contract extension. There’s no way FSU is going to dish out $5 million to Jimbo Fisher just so Bobby can stick around. Unless JoePa dies, the record is his. It’s no longer a question on JoePa having the most Div-1 victories, but how many he’ll end up with. Bobby is no longer a threat, with or without his 14 tarnished victories. He’ll be gone after this year. Instead, I’m hoping JoePa is around long enough to get win 409 and beat out Eddie Robinson.

UGADawg83

July 15th, 2009
5:59 pm

Here is the deal—it does involve Bobby Bowden, a fine man and a class act and not Steve “Mr. Pompous” Spurrier or Urban “Cry-Baby” Myer. Yep, Florida you win National Titles but you just can’t win a battle of class. Ever.

Tide Rising

July 15th, 2009
6:01 pm

Otto,

Aint you heard. Instead of just 12 national championships we went back again, felt like we got jobbed a few times, found a few games were we would have won if this and that woulda happened, so now we’ve retroactively awarded ourselves another 42 titles. The count now stands at 54.

oe

July 15th, 2009
6:10 pm

well actually GATOR, those “40 some wins from a lower division school”, aren’t really from a lower division, because at the time there was no separation of divisions 1a and 1aa until 1973. I really wish people would get there facts straight. Things is, Bowden’s wins at samford were, at the time, d1 wins. The only classification at the time were college and university level, and not all the 32 victories can even be placed in the lower level of that classification. It’s funny how people will attack the smallest minute detail from the past and try somehow to relate it to today. This simply can’t be put in todays terms, football has changes so much since then.

DawgsRGatorBait

July 15th, 2009
6:25 pm

UGADawg83:
Name-calling is the crutch of an inferior mind.
You, sir, are a classy guy!

obomaisaclown

July 15th, 2009
8:25 pm

HOW many wins will coach Saban lose for His school cheating ? How many will He lose under a second loi and a second probation . Will He leave bama first when the heat gets closer?

John Holmes

July 15th, 2009
10:18 pm

All of you ostriches had better hold your breath as far as your own programs. It’s always hilarious to see how quickly comments about punishment change when YOU get hit.

John Holmes

July 15th, 2009
10:23 pm

THE only reason Paterno has started winning again is because they play one of the worst schedules in the nation. Check it. Before they started doing that, their fans were trying to run him off. And once again how silly it looks for those very same people to come out and act like they were behind Paterno all the way. They were behind him alright….with a bulldozer.

superDawg

July 15th, 2009
10:46 pm

If you get caught pay the penalty and don’t cry about it.Forfeiture of games should be part of the penalty.GT played academically ineligable players and got caught and vacated games.however they cried and had them reinstated which in my opinion is BS.You can’t tell me it was’nt known before hand.Trying to hide it should stiffen the penalty.

Me

July 15th, 2009
11:33 pm

Here is the bottom line folks…Bobby Bowdens tolerant attitude of “boys will be boys” and not putting his foot down and not re-gaining control of the program finally caught up with him. This tolerance went on for a long time. Now ironically he gets “busted” for something he didn’t have knowledge or complete control of. But isn’t that the way it always goes? A guy robs banks for years and years and never gets caught then gets thrown in jail for tax evasion. Karma will always get you in the end and sadly for Bowden, this is the end.

Miles

July 15th, 2009
11:47 pm

Mr. Barnhart, you don’t want the government to be involved in the BCS controversy nor do you want the NCAA involved in the Florida State scandal. Somebody has to REGULATE the situation! Your “free market” approach to behavior leads to chaos. You implied that the lack of evidence of Bowden’s knowledge of this situation justifiably exonerates him of any wrongdoing. There is a larger question that must be asked is this: What evidence can Bowden provide that he did everything within his means to deter his players from this sort of situation? Continually advocating for those morons out there that have contributed to their own misfortunes detracts from YOUR credibility. Taking the stance that you have taken on this topic, it appears that your perspective is void of any ethical, moral, or philosophical fabric. Rather, your stance appears myopic, biased, prejudicial, and clearly absent of critical thinking. Grind the axe elsewhere!

Denver Dog

July 16th, 2009
1:14 am

I like Bobby bowden, but until they start punishing the coaces and AD’s it won’t matter. Put them out of a job and say no more. The only true example of what could happen is what happened at SMU, and thre it worked. Someone has to be accountable, wherther it si UGA Penn State, USC or any other major school. It is time to stop the nonsense

Too Easy

July 16th, 2009
8:05 am

Nothing new here since the first 10 comments. Let’s move on. Tony: I think you lost this one.

John Holmes

July 16th, 2009
2:12 pm

Not in my opinion and no, I’m not an FSU fan. I WOULD like to know what schools all of the hypocrites on here support.

Sam

July 16th, 2009
2:39 pm

I think the whole punishment scheme of the NCAA seems out of whack today. Losing scholarships is a pretty serious penalty, but I propose fining the athletic departments. College football is big business treat it as such. Fine them and then the NCAA can use the money to hire more investigators to ferret out the big violations (Reggie Bush and USC) and/or fund improved scholarship and insurance programs.

South Georgia Nole

July 16th, 2009
2:43 pm

As a ‘Nole fan I love Bobby Bowden and seeing the NCAA take victories away from the guy hurts, BUT having them take away scholarships would be even worse. Bobby not being #1 on the all time wins list is less of a punishment to the ‘Noles than being docked 5-7 scolarships and us having a harder time getting back to the top. I for one am glad that the NCAA is considering this “punishment”.

Football Encyclopedia

July 17th, 2009
8:00 am

31 wins at Howard College from 1959 to 1962 should not count for Saint Bobby Bowden anyway!
Joe Paterno never coached little league college football and Bowden should admit there is no comparison. Penn State is no Howard College ( now powerful Samford U.) —Reveal all the facts!

Darrin

July 17th, 2009
2:50 pm

Here is the crux of the issue, Tony:

The minute those players cheated, they became ineligible per NCAA rules. Those ineligible players then played in games, making the results of those games null and void. It doesn’t matter whether those players were ineligible because of academics, getting paid by boosters, or taking banned substances. It also doesn’t matter if the coaches knew about it. By using ineligible players, they had a competitive advantage over teams who were playing by the rules.

Also, St. Bobby sings a different tune when it is his turn to get roasted by the NCAA. He sure had different thoughts about it back when he was on the other side of the ineligibility fence (1983):

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1347&dat=19831109&id=vyUVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=mvsDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5110,3169571

Care to ask him about that?

steve merker

July 17th, 2009
5:24 pm

Your article is amusing in respect for not telling FSU’s and other Florida schools academic cheating and other serious offenses over the years. If you think Bowden or his staff did not know about his players
academic problems, then you have issues. The win losses will send a message to other schools. Bowden deserves to lose those wins.come on now,his players can not pass a music class.

Bama12

July 23rd, 2009
11:50 am

Alabama “self reported” a violation and was given the 2nd worst penalty ever handed down by the NCAA so I don’t see that point as a reason not to hold Bowden responsible for something that did help him get more victories. If the crime added to his win total then take them away. My problem with the NCAA is why has USC not been help accountable in the Reggie Bush deal or Ohio State for a booster “loaning” a car to Maurice C? Why are some top schools help to higher standards while others are allowed to cruise on by?

hosterzru

November 27th, 2009
12:02 pm

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linuxgid

December 1st, 2009
7:34 pm

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cauna

December 3rd, 2009
9:36 am

Отличная работа

skidoknet

December 3rd, 2009
8:52 pm

Чётко, кратко и интересно. Наверное правильно говорят, что краткость сестра таланта

splbkean

December 6th, 2009
7:33 pm

Я бы сказал, что достаточно интересно и я соглашусь почти со всеми, кто комментировал раньше

mastepoc

December 14th, 2009
7:53 pm

Another great list. I’m meeting more friendly and helpful bloggers each week. Great Idea ;)