Nice guys don’t get a pass — not even Bowden

The Count can be quite charming in daylight.

The Count can be quite charming in daylight.

The advantage of doing this job is you get a chance to see people for who they really are, or at least who they want you to think they are, or maybe who they are in the daylight, which is not to say who they are when the sun goes down, like my friend, The Count. Take Bobby Bowden. Several years ago I was in Tallahassee working on some Florida State story and sitting in Bowden’s office. It was the let’s-just-chat portion of the interview, which not every coach makes time for but is a regular practice for Bowden. We talked sports and family and he asked me about my son, Josh, who at the time was very young. The next thing I know, he reaches into a bottom desk drawer, pulls out a Florida State hat, and signs it, “To Josh. Bobby Bowden.” It was a nice gesture, even if my son didn’t know a Seminole from a purple dinosaur at the time. It was the type of move that has led several media members to allow themselves to go easy on Bowden every time an FSU player was, say, caught getting free shoes and cheating in an online music history class. Which leads me to this week’s Countdown kickoff. Take it, Count …

10: Who’s in charge again?

The NCAA found that 61 FSU student-athletes in 10 sports were involved in an elaborate cheating scheme in two online courses in 2006 and 2007. As a result, all wins by teams using those athletes must be vacated.

So, Joe, I don't suppose you'd like to take off a year or two so I can cat

Joe, think you can take a year off so I can catch up?

That includes 14 wins by the football team, and therefore 14 wins by Bowden, who has been locked in a coach-until-you-drop battle for most wins with fellow Denny’s Grand Slam Breakfast bud Joe Paterno. Bowden apologists believe this is unfair. OK, I only got a hat. What did they get?

9. Ignorance is no excuse

Some media members have taken up for Bowden, as has FSU athletic director Randy Spetman, who called the NCAA’s order to vacate wins unfair. Unfair? “The vacation of records is a very controversial issue with us right now,” he said. One of the arguments for allowing Bowden to keep the record is there’s no way he could have known about his players taking the course. That might be true. One look at the Noles’ offense in those years told us Bowden barely knew what was going on in the huddle. But it kinda misses the point, doesn’t it?

8: Word of the day: culpability

You don’t have to be such a blatant dirtbag as Jim Harrick and have your son teach a class, “The Principles of Basketball,” to be wrong. It’s Bowden’s program. He’s responsible. Not knowing can be just as bad as knowing and lying about it, and who’s to say he hasn’t done that, too? These are kids he recruited, he coached and, to some degree, he raised. Ask the mothers what he said to them when he sat in their living rooms.

This poster is not available in the FSU bookstore.

This poster is not available in the FSU bookstore.

Can a coach know everything and be at all places at all times? No. But that goes with the job. And let’s face it, FSU has had its share of players run afoul under Bowden. The man has had a great career and I certainly won’t put him in the low rent class of Lou Holtz and Jackie Sherrill. But he’s also built his record in part by being soft on crime, having players run steps rather than miss games of significance or be kicked off the team. Sorry. This happened on his watch. His watch, his players, his program. His punishment. He may just have to settle for second place on the all-time wins list. Hat or no hat.

7: Turbo lips strikes again

I think Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin was supposed to make people forget Phil Fulmer — not miss him. The goofball did it again. Alshon Jeffrey, a wide receiver from South Carolina, told that when Kiffin was trying to recruit him to Tennessee, he told him not to go to South Carolina unless he wanted to wind up working at a gas station for the rest of his life — like all of the other Gamecocks. “He said it, but it’s not worth talking about,” Jeffrey said. OK. So it was just a stupid shot said in the heat and desperation of the moment. But since Kiffin brought it up, a question: Since when do all Tennessee recruits go on to work at NASA?

It won't be this empty at Yankee Stadium -- but close enough to make marketing panic

It won't be this empty at Yankee Stadium, but maybe close enough to panic the marketing department..

6. Cry me an East River

The Yankees spent $423.5 million on three free agents this winter (Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett). They have built a $1.5 billion stadium that includes a steak house, a martini bar and luxury, outdoor and party suites. So what’s the worst possible thing that could go wrong (I mean, other than all that A-Rod stuff)? They’re having trouble selling the most absurdly priced tickets. All together now: Awww. The New York Times, under the headline, “Yankee Stadium Seats With Everything, Except Fans,” says the team is struggling to sell the premium field level seats at $325 per game and “Legend Suite” seats in the first few rows ($2,500 per game). The Yankees have taken out huge ads in the Times in hopes of moving inventory. But they’re apparently resigned to the fact that they won’t be able to sell out full-season packages and now are willing to sell smaller multi-game packs. On a related note, karma’s a … wow, look at the time!

5. Maybe it was the carpet?

In case you missed it, Michael Vick’s $3.2 million mansion — which has a “7″ embroidered in the carpet in an entry hall — did not sell at auction Tuesday. There wasn’t even an offer. There wasn’t even a crowd. Two “bidders” showed up but neither made a qualifying bid, which included a cashiers check for $160,000. It’s Vick’s supreme hope that this was merely a statement on the real estate market and not his own marketability because two non-qualifying bidders for his NFL services isn’t going to help bankruptcy proceedings. But the $160,000 — he might take that about now. Meanwhile, reported that Vick plans to do work for Habitat for Humanity as part of his work release program back in Newport News, Va. The trick will be making sure that the homes are not plain barn-like structures painted black and set back in the woods. Because, like, that wouldn’t be good.

4. Cheap page view accelerator of the week

Goldilocks and the Three Stooges.

Goldilocks and the Three Stooges.

Do you believe how good Barbie looks for 50? You just know that girl has had some work done. But here at The Countdown, we do not praise individuals who only excel at accessorizing. Which brings us to this week’s top athletes. To the left, for the ladies, we have three unidentified members of the 1962 Packers. This rare play illustrates how Vince Lombardi was one of the game’s great innovators. To the right, we give you Elena Dementieva, who is 5-foot-11 and, unlike Barbie, I’m pretty sure doesn’t have a little sister back in Moscow named Skipper. Dementieva is ranked No. 4 in the world (in tennis) and is 21-3 this season. However, she lost in the finals of the French Open to Amelie Mauresmo, because, I’m pretty sure, the French cheat.

3. It’s only a flesh wound

Well. That didn’t take long. Chipper Jones suffered a strained oblique in the World Baseball Crock, but he’s playing the role of good soldier and patriotic American by saying he could have crumbled just as easily in spring training with the Braves. Well, that may be true. But here’s the problem: If a player gets hurt in spring training in Florida, it’s bad luck. If a player gets hurt playing a meaningless exhibition game 1,300 miles away in Toronto because Major League Baseball wants to sell hats and T-shirts in Venezuela, it’s bad luck AND could’ve been avoided. But fear not. Bud Selig will design commemorative arm slings before this is over.

2. The Other Countdown (from 122)

Why is this man smiling?

Why is this man smiling?

According to Bizjournals, which apparently has a lot of time on its hands, Atlanta’s pro sports franchises don’t measure up well among the 122 teams in the four leagues. The publication ranked teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL for the 2008 calendar year, primarily on two criteria: wins and earnings. The top five overall finishers: 1) Boston Celtics (NBA); 2) New York Giants (NFL); 3) L.A. Lakers (NBA); 4) Montreal Canadiens (NHL); 5) Boston Red Sox (MLB). The Falcons were the highest-ranked Atlanta team at only 67th (22nd among 32 NFL franchises). The Hawks were 69th (17th of 30 in NBA), the Braves 91st (20th of 30 in baseball) and the Thrashers 119th (29 of 30 in NHL). They ranked ahead of only the Memphis Grizzlies, the New York Islanders and the Detroit Lions, who just completed an 0-16 season.

1. And speaking of No. 119 …

Remember that planned “protest” night against the Thrashers’ ownership, the Atlanta Spirit, last Friday night against Montreal? It didn’t go so well. The Thrashers had to go and ruin everything and win. According to Joe Harris, one of the unofficial organizers, only three fans wore bags and several others never put their’s on because the team played well, and won, 2-0, over Montreal (which went over so well in Quebec that the Canadiens fired their head coach three days later). Harris said he bought a pair of tickets on eBay totaling $16 — and sat 10 rows off the glass. He said he saw dozen fans with signs that took shots at the Spirit, but mostly termed the protest “horrible. Embarrassing. I figured once Montreal scored, everybody would put their bag on. But they never scored.” Maybe he could pre-plan 30 protest nights next year, and make the team a legitimate playoff threat.

35 comments Add your comment

Bill From Tampa

March 10th, 2009
3:36 pm

Obviously you won’t agree Jeff, but to say Bowden is responsible for this is completely inaccurate. He had no direct or even indirect control over the structure, the administration of that class, or those personnel that decided to help students cheat on the exams. The only way he could have prevented it was to stand there over the shoulders of his players to make sure they didn’t cheat on that exam (which by the very nature of how it was designed was destined to have cheating and not by just student athletes which I can guess is going on in many other schools that have these online kinds of classes).


March 10th, 2009
3:47 pm

119th? The Thrashers are 119th? Wild! Speaking of which, where did the Minnesota Wild rank on the list? Remember, they, along with the Columbus BlueJackets, were other two expansion teams of 2000. Both clubs are in playoff contention as we speak.

Jeff, at this point, I think the Spirit Group has dwindled the paid hockey attendance down to Waddell-supporters, fans of the OTHER team, and those who will just watch hockey, ANY HOCKEY, and be grateful for it.

When the Atlanta market ices a quality team, I predict the team will sellout more than half of its home games. Let’s see, a few more lottery draft finishes and … POOF! We’ll have the youngest, fastest, most skilled team in the NHL. Let’s hope Atlanta still qualifies for those “revenue-sharing dollars.” Hmmn, I wonder if you buy a season ticket, and get TWO season tickets FREE, if that counts as “3 season tickets sold?” Let’s hope so. The NHL isn’t “big” into accounting. After all, they base their salary cap off of PROJECTED revenues, instead of acutal ones. Wait ’til they see the ACTUAL ones.


March 10th, 2009
3:48 pm

Ironic that the players got suspended for the Music City Bowl because of their cheating on a music class test.

I can see how togas could make a comeback.

J. Harris

March 10th, 2009
3:50 pm

Kick me while I’m down JS! The best thing about being a Thrasher fan right now is that instead of paying $35 per seat to sit in the tenth row of the upper deck, I can sit ten rows from the ice for $8. This economy is even killing the scalpers…. Don’t fault Dementieva for losing to Mauresmo. To quote Austin Powers (or Dick Vitale), “That’s a man, baby!!” What’s the matter with Holtz, other than the lisp?

Law Firm of Bird, Grouch & Snuffalufagus

March 10th, 2009
4:11 pm

Mr. Schultz,
Our client, The Count, has retained us to inform you that you must cease and desist using his images in your blog immediately. He does suggest that you replace it with the hot Russian chick who plays tennis.
Your Friends
Big, Oscar & Snuffy
123 Sesame Street USA

PS This is no joke. We will send our enforcement team of Burt & Ernie to pay you a visit.


March 10th, 2009
4:18 pm

Two years ago, Forbes ranked all the GM’s in all four major professional sports. Forbes ranked Don Waddell sixth (6th) OVERALL. (Kevin McHale, they ranked #1, among GM’s.) Their criteria? Well, they looked for GM’s who didn’t lose money, who placed draft picks in the starting lineup, and made the playoffs and/or showed “incremental progress” in building towards the playoffs.

I can’t wait to see where Forbes ranks Don Waddell this year!!

Jeff Schultz

March 10th, 2009
5:49 pm

Hello all. I’ll get back to you on your comments later. Just wanted to apologize for the late blog posting today because of significant technical issues. I think that’s what they called it before I threw the laptop out the window. I am getting ready to post a column on Georgia basketball and then I’ll check back here later for your comments and probably Ted Striker’s lewd observations on the weekly hottie (and I mean that in the nicest possible way).


March 10th, 2009
6:07 pm

The Hawks were ranked 69th while the Braves 91st. I can only assume that they did not consider the Atlanta Spirit ownership group as a criteria. Otherwise, Detroit would have been ahead of at least one franchise.

Hey, I’ll take the Braves and Liberty Media any day


March 10th, 2009
6:22 pm

I was at FSU in grad school and had contact with the academic assistance program used by all students. There were kids there who could not read at all. I remember one football player who was “dislexic”, “disgraphic” and “discalcic” but he could run like h3ll. They had tutors go to all his classes with him, take all his notes for him, etc. The academic assistance counselor’s job was to keep him eligible by recruiting students to help him. And there was Neon Deon’s classic quip: I don’t need to pass college algebra to count my money.

It wasn’t just athletes, however. I also worked for a time in the admissions office. Racial minority kids got special consideration for their applications. I would routinely send out denial letters to kids with 1000 on the SAT who were white, but acceptance letters to minority applicants who had 800s. Minority students’ applications were INDIVIDUALLY considered by a committee, whose job it was to find something promising in their applications. Nonminority kids’ applications were cut and dried; you make a certain score and you are in, otherwise, apply somewhere else. Out of state undergrads (unless they had a special talent) were given even less consideration. I never saw legacy play a role, but it probably did. The application had a place to list your relatives who had attended.

Now, I am not saying it was only FSU that did it. I am sure it wasn’t.

Jeff Schultz

March 10th, 2009
6:51 pm

## Bill: No coach ever has direct control over the class or the structure. By your way of thinking, no coach is ever responsible for the academic fraud unless he’s teaching the class.
## Brendan: The Wild ranked 9th in the NHL and 33rd overall. Pretty high. the link for NHL teams:
## Gdawg: Yeah, I thought of that before. Unusual for me to pass up such an easy line. My timing’s off today.
## Joe: To the contrary, I think you should be applauded for finding two lower-bowl seats for $8 each. Imagine the poor schlub you bought them from who paid full price. Holtz? Well, let’s see. Other than being the only coach in history to get Notre Dame on probation and leaving a stench at almost every stop on his resume, there’s really nothing wrong with him at all. (As you can tell, I love the man).
## Law Firm: can the hot Russian chick count? Ah, who cares. . .
## Brendan: Forbes dropped Don to 7th.
## BBrown: 90 losses will do that for you. Remember, this is based on 2008 calendar.
## Catlady: I LOVE that Deion quote: “I don’t need to pass college algebra to count my money.” He later changed that to, “They don’t pay me to stop the run.” Possibly the greatest cover cornerback of all time — but, oy.


March 10th, 2009
7:37 pm

Its amazing that sportswriters have this ability to an expert on something they know nothing about.Do you really know Bobby Bowden? Have you ever heard him speak in a church about himself? From your comments, I would say no is the answer to this question. In the future, write about things that you have some expertise in, whatever that might be ,its not sports

sports fan

March 10th, 2009
8:00 pm

Who cares silly game that doesn’t last forever for most People.. Bowden needs to stay at FSU he is good for the ACC no longer a threat.. The 4th place SEC team would win the ACC


March 10th, 2009
8:02 pm

As a PSU grad I am glad to see squeeky clean paterno take the lead for (what appears to be) fo good; however, I whish the lead could have been decided on the field (where Paterno leads anyway).

BTW, I do recall Paterno cutting players for such scandals…cutting the week before bowl games…

Jeff Schultz

March 10th, 2009
8:28 pm

Have I ever heard Bobby Bowden speak in church?
Would somebody please slap Mr2Nole for me?


March 10th, 2009
8:34 pm

IS there any wonder why “Forbes” is a money magazine, not a sports publication. :)

Ted Striker

March 10th, 2009
8:51 pm

Jeff: I waited till noon for your column but couldn’t take it any longer and finally just broke down and bought an issue of Maxim instead. It’s kept me busy till now…

That said, NICE JOB!!!


March 10th, 2009
8:53 pm

Bill from Tampa,

You are correct,Bowden had no control over the structure of the incredibly hard class that the FSU athletes were caught cheating in. That was made by the state of Florida after reviewed and voted upon by the board. What Bowden did have control of is havoing his players KNOW that if they were caught cheating not only would they be kicked off the team but kicked out of school like every other normal student. They did not fear this because that does not happen to the FSU Seminoles.


In case you are un-aware what you are talking about is Afirmitive Action. Schools all across the country do this every single day of the week. Apply to Harvard Law as a white middle class male with a 165 LSAT and a 3.9 GPA; denied…. Minority, 161 LSAT and 3.6….scholarship.

The sad part, when was the last time a biology class pulled 88,300 fans with an avg spend of $108 per head to watch them perform an experiment? Never, thats what its about; never forget, college is a business.

Hockey and Atlanta? Whats that; have you been to a game? They will be playing somewhere in Detroit or Canada in 3 years along; I hope theres room for another basketball team in Toronto.


I bet if Bobby Bowden had the opportunity he would tell your then young child to jump in a lake along with U of A…

HAHA, good night..

Seminole Steve

March 10th, 2009
9:14 pm

You need to do your research before you cast judgement on Bobby Bowden. Did you know that the athletic department at Florida State has ZERO responsibilty over the academic support programs there? T.K. Wetherell , the school’s president, ordered a review of the school’s processes by an independent firm several years ago and the result was a decision to remove coaches from the responsibilty of academic support and give that aspect to the school’s academic arm. Coaches at Florida State are actually the ones who confronted their athletes when this news was first reported.
Based on your assumptions, how can you write that Bobby Bowden or any other coach at Florida State for that matter, are quilty of negligence when in fact the school’s policy eliminates the possibilty of unethical practices by it’s coaches.
Given the facts Jeff, let’s face it, you are acting as judge and jury when you don’t know the school’s policy. Was there academic fraud found? You bet. But how in the world can you punish the school’s coaches when in fact, the school forbids coaches from having any oversight whatsoever?


March 10th, 2009
9:15 pm

Jeff, i think your a little off base in assuming that many major college head coaches are totally responsible for the academic ethics of all there players. The players are given a scholarship, do they not deserve the responsibility to take advantage of this free ride. What about all the non student athletes that cheat in online courses at every college in America. Do we take away federal assistance because of a few college students, or do we punish the unethical students and move forward. This vacating wins thing is a vendetta by the NCAA against Bowden. He is 1 coach in 10 sports that were found guilty of misconduct at FSU. But yet, he is the only one that should have known. You should send your hat back to Bowden, so he can give it too a guy who might appreciate class when he meets it. Carroll and USC were found too have known about Reggie Bush’s family living in a mansion, i dont believe they have been asked to vacate any victories. That is true corruption.NCAA is a joke on this one. Maybe you might want to do your homework before bashing on a legend.

Ted Striker

March 10th, 2009
9:34 pm

Being a little ineligible is like being a little pregnant.


March 10th, 2009
11:15 pm

Anyone watching this Thrashers-Avalanche game on SportSouth? Atlanta’s actually winning, 2-0. The Thrashers can actually catch the Aves fairly soon for the 26th spot in the league. But I digress.

J.P. Dellacamera says, “Nice try with that ‘featherly’ pass. Can I say that, Darren? Is ‘featherly’ correct useage?” Darren Eliot: “Why yes it is.” J.P. Dellacamera: “Well, I just wanted to check with you.” Darren Eliot: “You did the ‘right thing,’ J.P. (to verify it with me).” J.P. Dellacamera: “Well, I knew that you’d know.”

Cringing … ya know something, Jeff. Imagine if it had RAINED today. Still with me? And J.P. and Darren Eliot were caught in the deluge. J.P. might say, “Well, we certainly got soaked.” Darren would answer, smugly and with a swagger of confidence, “Why yes, J.P. We certainly did. Well observed. And I simply must get out of these WET clothes and into a DRY martini.” J.P. answers, “Aren’t you the drole one, Darren. Where do you COME UP with these quips?” Darren replies, “I practice my affectations in the mirror before each broadcast, J.P.” J.P. answers, “Well, they’re certainly ON tonight.” Darren responds, “They most certainly are.” “Indoubedly,” says J.P.

I swear!! It goes ONNNNN like thisssssss!!! It’s not entirely a fabrication. I can see an actual conversation taking place like this between them. For the record, Darren Eliot seems like an intelligent man who is sadly on the payroll of a horrible organization, and he’s not allowed to say that the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.


March 11th, 2009
3:23 am

Look, I know its just a blog opinion post, but I really think if you’re going to go off on Bowden in this manner, it really would be helpful for you to talk to some folks at FSU. Ask about the coaches’ role in this and ask the FSU administration not just what oversight responsibility the coaches had over the players’ academics but what oversight over academic support – the unit that created this mess – the coaches are ALLOWED to have. After the Clem Haskins debacle, many schools went out of their way to segregate academic support from coaches. Heck, maybe there is a good article in looking at what structural problems led to this debacle and then looking at some other schools and asking whether, without some broader changes, this is just a ticking time bomb for a lot of schools (I suspect given the proliferation of online courses, changing attitudes about cheating, and increasing pressure within programs, the answer is yes, this is a ticking time bomb for some schools). Look, the NCAA is pursuing vacating wins more and more because they are trying to punish the institution rather than the innocent players and coaches that come after the cheaters. The problem is that this penalty also punishes innocent players and coaches. Maybe this is the right penalty, simply because there is no other more equitable penalty. I doubt it, but there’s room for a difference of opinion. But let’s not just throw Bobby Bowden – or any of the other less famous coaches that are also getting hit and by implication are also being slammed by your post – on the barbeque without a little more information and perspective.


March 11th, 2009
8:53 am

Hey Why ask someone else to do the slapping. I’ll be more than happy to meet you anywhere and let you try to do it yourself.


March 11th, 2009
9:45 am

More than a mere three fans wore bags and carried signs at the protest game on 6 March. As a matter of fact, I know personally four individuals who did so, including myself, and saw countless others engaged in bag-wearing or sign-carrying.

Unfortunately, the lot of individuals who said they would chickened out or just didn’t attend. Regardless of the outcome of the protest, they missed one hell of a game.

Jeff Schultz

March 11th, 2009
10:18 am

Ted: Who’s on the Maxim cover?

Bowden defenders: I think you’re missing the point. He recruited the players. If they cheat, it’s on him. It doesn’t matter whether he is standing behind them while they’re taking an online music course or not. His guys, his program, his responsibility. That’s the way it’s always been and that’s the way it should be. And if this was Urban Meyer, you would be all over him.

Mr2Nole: What happened to church?

Alan: Sorry, I just went by what Joe told me. I guess we can safely say though that it was underwhelming. But it’s funny how winning does cure all things, isn’t it?

Ted Striker

March 11th, 2009
11:35 am

Jeff: March cover is 29 year old Danneel Harris, native of Lafayette, LA. Her name was inspired by Danneel Street in New Orleans. She looks wholesome and spiritual. I imagine she enjoys sharing a bowl of butter pecan ice cream (using a solitary spoon) after sex.

April Cover is Swedish born Malin Akerman, recently cast as Silk Spectre II in Watchmen. She looks unselfish, thoughtful, empathetic. I imagine she relishes having poetry (Frost, Emerson, Billy Collins) read to her during long warm baths with scented candles, especially Plum Blossom or Wild Fig & Cassis. I like how she puts her long hair up into a short ponytail so it won’t get wet in the tub — well, how I imagine she would put it up if she were in my tub.

p.s. Extensive research revealed that both Danneel and Malin were in “Harold and Kumar” movies. Danneel was in “Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” Malin in “White Castle.” (I do not have a solid theory yet for the movie connection but am delving into it soon).

Bill From Tampa

March 11th, 2009
11:37 am


## Bill: No coach ever has direct control over the class or the structure. By your way of thinking, no coach is ever responsible for the academic fraud unless he’s teaching the class.

Please indicate to me what hands on functions any coach has in the overseeing adminstratively of any class. The only responsibility the coach has it to make sure they go to class and sit them when they don’t make the required grades. They don’t design the class. They don’t monitor tests. They don’t grade the tests. They don’t help the students study for the tests. This academic issue at FSU was completely out of the hands of every single coach who had a player involved. The academic side of the university set up the course and took responsibility for all aspects of that course (which IMO never should have offered a fluff course like that in the first place, but that’s another issue).

Ted Striker

March 11th, 2009
1:40 pm

Bill from Tampa: This isn’t about Bobby Bowden. It’s about two teams playing a football game and one team using ineligible players. If you’d like to claim that FSU could have used the ‘72 Dolphins or ‘85 Bears or ‘62 Packers — as long the head coach didn’t know about it — you just stick with that rationale.


March 11th, 2009
3:34 pm

Jeff: I wondered when you would get in on the Kiffen smear. He told ESPN he did not make the gas pumping statement, and that is good enough for me. Sounds like the kid and the visor guy are spreading lies.

Jim Michael

March 14th, 2009
2:02 am

“Bowden defenders: I think you’re missing the point. He recruited the players. If they cheat, it’s on him. It doesn’t matter whether he is standing behind them while they’re taking an online music course or not. His guys, his program, his responsibility.”

Jeff – you must be kidding. It is the responsibility of the student who cheats. The student should suffer the consequence when caught. The school should impose the punishment as permitted within the school’s guidelines. That may consist having to redo the assignment or submit an additional assignment for a “0″ or “F” on the assignment or the course, a grade reduction on the assignment, etc.

The point is the academic section of the school has control over this, at FSU, UF and UGA. Don’t you think that their guidelines should be followed. Some of us think these on line distance courses, without better safeguards, are ripe to tempt college students (not just athletes” to cheat, plagiarism or obtaining unauthorized assistance. To the point, UGA, an equally respected school, has an distance learning program.

In the fall of 1997 they had over 140 complaints of cheating, with about 90 of them being founded and the punishment handed out was as outlined above. The records show an average of about 100 cases each semester at UGA, but one semester has nearly 150 instances. Only 2 students in the semester I pointed out were expelled but that was after their second instance of being caught cheating. This is not to pick on UGA, and I hope my daughter will get accepted there, as I am sure this happens at most schools , especially with on line courses.

If you think the school wrong or too lenient in these 90 cases then you should start a cause to have that system changed. Take a look at UGA’s site.
Didn’t UGA decide to punish them but allow rehabilitation and give the kids a second chance like Bobby does without permanently hurting them (and these UGA students didn’t receive they additional punishment of running stadium steps).

Your readers look forward to you taking a look at these facts, ask yourself if your sons or nephew might also be tempted enough to do something stupid. Isn’t it possible that after reviewing these facts and similar instance that maybe the punishment handed out by both schools themselves were appropriate.


Jim Michael

March 14th, 2009
2:54 am

Just a little research shows the following punishment by these schools
1. a lower or failing grade in the course,
2. a lower or failing grade or score on the assignment or examination, or
3. additional work to provide evidence of the student’s academic performance and/or evidence that the student knows and understands the course material.

The school then has several options:
1. Dismissal: A student dismissed must file a petition for judicial clearance.
2. Suspension:
3. Probation
4. Reprimand
5. Nothing ….precludes the imposition of other reasonable sanctions

1.) Assignment grade penalty. … but not limited to a zero.

2) Course grade penalty.

(b) Student Conduct Code Sanctions.
1. Reprimand
2. Loss of University Privileges
3 Conduct Probation
4. Deferred Suspension
5. Suspension
6. Expulsion

A student found in violation by the Academic Honesty Panel must receive either a “0″ or the lowest possible grade on the academic work under the grading system for that course. In addition, one or more of the following consequences must be assigned:

1. Final course grade of “F”.
2. Placement of a dishonesty transcript notation which states: “Academic Honesty Violation as Determined by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction,” which must remain until the student is not enrolled as a student at the University and two years after the date upon which the Academic Honesty Panel entered its final decision.
3. Suspension.
4. Dismissal.
5. Expulsion.
Upon subsequent violations, the board still has the option to impose sanction 3,4 or 5 above.

Unicversity of Virginia appears to have the most stringent honor code. A student can fie a filing a Conscientious Retraction and if accepted is subject to the discretion of the instructor. If he or she
choses a trial and is found guilty they are expelled.

The point is the academic department have set out the punishment and they all seem to be nearly identical (UVA excepted) and the punishment to the students and loss of scholarships seem appropriate but forfeiting team victories seems excessive where the school was not aware of the violation.


March 14th, 2009
9:59 am

Good stuff Schultzie — thanks.


March 14th, 2009
5:29 pm

By the way — what the heck is this column (“Nice guys don’t get a pass — not even Bowden”) doing linked on the AJC Braves page?????

That’d be a great headline for a column about former National’s GM Jim Bowden, and his woes.

But the headline is actually referring to BOBBY Bowden and HIS woes.

Should we steel ourselves to expect to start seeing links to AJC stories about Bill Francoeur, Tatum McCann and Precision Husky’s KWIK-CHIP (“the most famous Chipper and screen unit in the world”) on the AJC Braves homepage?


March 15th, 2009
10:37 am

The FSU experience will be repeated at UGA: Bible thumping, and obscenely wealthy, football coach who looks the other way when thugs and illiterate recruits break every rule possible. Red-neck alumni who could care even less. The real god here in the South is football.


March 16th, 2009
2:51 am

nice Braves site, lots of minor league stuff: