NCAA's punishment of Florida State un...

NCAA's punishment of Florida State unfairly tarnishes Bobby Bow...

There are 157 comments on the Orlando Sentinel story from Mar 6, 2009, titled NCAA's punishment of Florida State unfairly tarnishes Bobby Bow.... In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

S ix obscure committee members did what nobody else has been able to do in the legendary coach's 50 years in the business.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Orlando Sentinel.

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Oviedo, FL

#1 Mar 6, 2009
They should go ahead and erase those 31 victories he got at Samford while they're at it. Then he'd be WAY behind Joe Pa.
Wait and see

Daytona Beach, FL

#2 Mar 6, 2009
If he's not responsible, then he shouldn't be coaching.....

Sanford, FL

#4 Mar 7, 2009
It's partisan journalist like you that cater to the "it's not my fault" type of society we live in. Would you not think that bowden should have a vested interest in his students academic behavior considering the obvious potential consequences? None the less at the end of his career. To say that bowden "had absolutely nothing to do with this" is purely speculative at best. Do you know first hand that bowden was completely and totally unaware of what goes on with his players? Do you really believe that after all his years in this business, not game, business, that he is completely innocent and unaware that these types of practices exist and are furthermore encouraged. That is of course until caught, right? As a matter of fact, if anyone should know better, it's a sports writer as yourself. You know, just as any other sports writer with a steady pulse that these practices are commonplace, and furthermore encouraged amongst many universities. College football is a business first and foremost, and when millions of dollars are on the line every year, you will always find this type of behavior. The fact that bowden did not actively participate in the act does not exonerate him. It is not acceptable to claim that you were not aware; you are the head coach, you are responsible, it's not a matter of what's fair. It is cowardly to stand idly by during, and then after the fact make claims of ignorance. I refuse to believe, and I think the few remaining people that comprise the intelligent public believe that in his 50 years in the business that he has never been aware of these types of acts FIRST HAND. In fact, I would venture to say that it's damn near impossible after all those years. Maybe I should ask you then, who would you prefer be held responsible? If I know someone is acting in the wrong, and I can do something, and rather I claim ignorance, am I not equally or at least part of the problem? You say you have no problem with fsu getting hammered over this. Well maybe you need to explain exactly what that means a bit better. What good does it to for an entity to take the heat for what living breathing humans are responsible for? In this article you have described bowden as iconic, his career glorious, a magnificent legacy. Why does longevity in a dirty business need to come with a get out of jail free card? In this article you ask "but can't the NCAA give a special "Saint Bobby" dispensation in this case? " Wow, where to begin on that piece of literary gold? If there is anyone or anything that should be asking for leniency it's not bowden; it's the author and this article for it's slanted content. But don't be mad at me, I had nothing to do with this.

Frisco, TX

#5 Mar 7, 2009

I would buy your argument, except Bowden's program has had a long history of such behaviour.
ordinary citizen

United States

#6 Mar 7, 2009
Bowden is a senile old man and FSU should have replaced him years ago. But he at least has the coach title and is being paid the bucks for it so he is responsible for the situation. If he didn't want his "legacy" tarnished then Bowden should have gotten out before he lost his capability.

Tulsa, OK

#7 Mar 7, 2009
Why should Bowden get a free pass? This isn't the first infraction at Free Shoes University, and it won't be the last. I think it shows a lack of institutional control.

But even with that I think that forfeiting victories is stupid. Ban them from bowl games for 3 years, take away the majority of their scholarships, but don't take away the wins.

And I'm still wondering if the NCAA will ever touch a school like USC. Or will they wait until they're down on their luck, and kick them while they're down.
A E Banks

Saint Petersburg, FL

#8 Mar 7, 2009
Come on Mike! This is Bowden's 3rd probation! How do you know that Bowden did not tell Monk, Goldsmith, and others to do anything possible to keep those players eligible? Bowden will always be known as a reknowned cheat! The N.C.A.A. should have stripped his '93 title for the footlocker incident and the '99 title for using the Dillards thief Warreck also!

Saint Petersburg, FL

#9 Mar 7, 2009
The ncaa judges have declared to fsu, Bowden, and others that ignorance of the ncaa rules is no excuse!
Opportunity Tax

Dallas, TX

#10 Mar 7, 2009
The premise of the article is that Bobby Bowden is the university. That may be true at FSU, but the NCAA punishes schools, not coaches. When they wrote about the forfeitures, they said the school will have to forfeit, not the head coach. If the head coach is a team/school player, he will be as fine with it as the school is. I'm sure they are not happy, but I bet they'll keep a better eye now.

Bowden will leave FSU as having built the program, and as assumed here maybe the university. He will however have a losing record against his two in-state rivals UM and UF. So, for such a prosperous time, it's still not good enough for this state.
Honda VTX Rider

Jacksonville, FL

#11 Mar 7, 2009
If the coach does not get involved with his players academics, then maybe he should. The coach is the captain of the ship and responsible for all actions. Saint Bobby AND Florida State has been hammered and rightfully deserved. Now maybe all the othe coaches will pay attention to those clowns they call football players.
In other very worthy news...

FSU Grad

Orlando, FL

#12 Mar 7, 2009
Bowden is not more important than the university. His reputation should not be a consideration. And of the proposed poll, his son Jeff damaged Bobby more than the NCAA. And Jeff damaged the university and the team, which is worse. All because blood is thicker than water and a lack of employer and team loyalty [many people do not subscribe to this tribal holdover].
By the way, Bobby always said how terrific his son was ... one of the best offensive coordinators ... and yet where is he working? The market for such a terrific coach has told us the demand is zero. Still.

Roswell, GA

#13 Mar 7, 2009
Is it really the NCAA that punished Bowden, or is it the players who cheated?

Two things occur to me:

1. Almost always when these infractions occur the school is punished and as an extention players who in many cases had nothing to with the infractions, is that fair?

2. Bobby didn't complain when the same NCAA decided to give him 31 wins from Samford, he has no complaint now

Gainesville, FL

#14 Mar 7, 2009
I definitely understand your thoughts and feelings on the punishments, Bianchi.
However, regardless of what one thinks of the penalties, they cannot honestly say they're surprised that Bowden will likely have to forfeit wins. That's just how the NCAA seems to handle scandals of this magnitude.
Case in point: The Fab Five of the 90's at Michigan. The head coach had nothing to do with the scandal there, besides the fact that the players involved played on his team. He didn't help them, the agents & others came to the players without the coach's help. Yet when punishments came down, he had to forfeit wins. That's just how it tends to work.

And while FSU will challenge any decision that Bowden has to forfeit victories, I for one feel that this will mainly be for show, so they can say they support Bobby. In reality, I doubt they're really that upset, and here's why: While he may not admit it, many, including many at FSU whom I have spoken to, believe that ONE of the main reasons Bowden continues to coach is because he wants to finish ahead of JoePa. By forfeiting any # of victories greater than a couple, he's pretty much out of luck there. And while FSU may not want to admit it, they don't want Bowden sticking around as long as JoePa will, which is going to be quite a while since Paterno coaches from the box now, and here's why:
If Bowden is still coaching in 2011, FSU will have to give Fisher $5 Million IN ADDITION TO his salary for that year if he is not the Noles head coach that season, and simply put no university wants to pay an assistant $5M+.
By forfeiting games and therefore being out of the alltime wins race, Bowden will have less of a reason to return in 2011.

Plus, the NCAA did not say Bowden is the ONLY one who could lose victories. The other sports may have to forfeit wins, too. The only difference between those sports and football is that nobody cares if Hamilton or the baseball coach or the swimming or golf coaches lose victories, or at least most people don't.
So while it may not seem fair at face value, nobody should be surprised at the punishment. And you can't say it's unfair to Bowden alone when chances are the coaches in the other sports involved will have to forfeit wins, too.

Milton, FL

#15 Mar 7, 2009
Nice stab at UCF Bianchi. I guess Bowden should be grateful that FSU lost so many games during this time frame.
George T

Orlando, FL

#16 Mar 7, 2009
Mike - The members of the NCAA infractions committee did not taint Bowden's legacy. That was done by the members of the football team who cheated and by the academic advisors and staff members who allowed the actions.

The infractions committee was tasked with reviewing the actions and determining fair penalties for the school based on the actions. I personally think that denying post season play for one year and greater loss of scholarships would have been stronger penalties than vacating games, but I guess their intent was to ensure that the impact was generally reserved for the period of the infractions, rather than hurting the long term future of the programs.

That Coach Bowden's win total will be impacted is just a collateral result and I doubt was a major consideration of the committee. It is unfortunate that his record will be impacted, but as part of the FSU athletic program he should receive the same treatment as all other coaches who had players participate in this process.

I don't know that he personally could have stopped this action, but the entire department let their guard down on oversight of academics and all those who unfairly benefitted should have to pay a price. That seems fair to me.
Al E Gator

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#17 Mar 7, 2009
If I read a post from another criminole boasting of FSU's athletic achievements....

Lebanon, MO

#19 Mar 7, 2009
Every retard going to college on an athletic scholarship is taking money away from a promising scholar who might actually graduate and become a productive member of society.

United States

#20 Mar 7, 2009
I thought one of the lessons of sports is the team concept. One person can hurt the entire team and in this case the "staff" that Bianchi blames hurts the team and Bowden is the head of the team.

I like the 3rd posters comments that Bianchi's response reflects the current USA way of thinking, bail 'em out, they weren't really responsible. Look at Toyota, the CEO resigned after one quarter of losses after many, many quarters of profits. Meanwhile the USA auto CEOs are driving their company's into the ground and looking for hands out. The person in charge has to take the responsibility and therefore the punishment.
Richard from Rockledge

United States

#21 Mar 7, 2009
Mike, you are way off base on this. The FSU program has a long history of player misconduct, and Bowden has always been step behind in controlling it. Whether it be free shoes, special department store discounts, or players getting extra help on term papers and tests. Utimately, Bowden is responsible and has to answer for it. If he were so great why would he have to rely on such a dubious cast of characters to get where he is?

“Vegas Baby!!!”

Since: Dec 06

Orlando, FL

#22 Mar 7, 2009
Sorry Mike, but the buck stops at the top. Whether Bowden knew about what was happening in his football program or not, he is ultimately responsible.

I do not care what industry, job, career, etc - if you are the big boss, you are responsible.

I would like to see Bobby accept responsibility for his actions and either move forward with the 2009 football season or step down in shame.

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