Oh, this is a shock: Florida State officials are totally embarrassing themselves over yet another scandal involving their football program. It’s the same old drill around Tallahassee. It involves doing whatever it takes to protect the likeable Saint Bobby, no matter how silly you look.
This time, those Florida State officials say it is unfair for the NCAA to unleash penalties that will strip away 10 victories from Bobby Bowden in his quest to become college football’s all-time winningest coach at the Division 1-A level.
Those Florida State officials are contemplating an appeal.
According to an NCAA investigation, a slew of Bowden’s players were among the 61 Florida State athletes in 10 sports who cheated on an online test from the fall of 2006 through the summer of 2007. That’s right, 61! The cheating involved staffers in the Florida State athletics department providing athletes with answers to the test and typing their papers.
Come to think of it, those Florida State officials are right. Bowden shouldn’t have been stripped 10 games. It should have been more than that for negligence.
Hopefully, NCAA officials won’t do the wrong thing and become like all of those other suckers through the years. You’ve seen the drill. Any time Florida State football players get into trouble, Bowden strings together a few one-liners and dadgums, and everything is forgiven through a lot of chuckling.
Remember Free Shoes University?
Once, there was Bowden’s long silence after safety Derrick Gibson was arrested and charged with soliciting an undercover policewoman for sex. You also had crazy stuff involving Peter Warrick, Laveranues Coles and others.
Most famously, you had Sebastian Janikowski, always a controversy waiting to happen as a placekicker. He was associated with everything from barroom fights to charges of trying to bribe a police officer to a cheating scandal around one of his final exams.
Anyway, before a Sugar Bowl involving Janikowski’s Seminoles, Bowden boldly said that any of his players violating curfew would not play. Janikowski violated curfew, but he played.
The reason? Bowden tossed out a few dadgums before saying of the Poland native, “We have a Warsaw rule that if he’s breathing and alive, he will kick off in the game.”
Everybody laughed. A few months later, Janikowski was arrested and charged by Florida State police for possessing a date-rape drug. That laughter stopped for a while, but it kept returning through the years around Bowden, a prolific coach but a pitiful cop for the Seminoles.
So it’s time for somebody to save Bowden from himself, which somebody (the NCAA) is trying to do — if Florida State officials just get out of the way.