The NCAA infractions committee intends to uphold sanctions against Florida State
that would take away wins in 10 sports, including as many as 14 by football
coach Bobby Bowden.After a public records lawsuit and intervention by Florida’s
attorney general, the NCAA allowed Florida State to release the committee’s June
2 response to FSU’s appeal of the NCAA punishment that would strip the school of
the victories.Though university officials had said earlier Thursday that would
be no comment from Florida State, president T.K. Wetherell denounced the NCAA’s
But the issue is far from over . . .
The NCAA called Florida State’s staff involvement in the cheating “especially egregious because of their positions as individuals charged specifically with maintaining academic integrity within the athletics program.”
“This is the response from the committee on infractions which entered the finding that we are appealing so you wouldn’t expect them to change their mind,” said Bill Williams, the Tallahassee attorney handling the case for Florida State. “We will respond to this and then we ultimately have an oral argument before the infractions appeal committee in Indianapolis (Ind.) and then they will make a final decision.”
Williams said he expected the hearing would be scheduled in late
summer or early fall, but admitted that was a guess.
The NCAA explained their rejection of the appeal . . .
The 23-page response said the loss of scholarships imposed as part of the original penalty would have been much greater without taking away victories in the various sports where athletes involved in the cheating had competed.
Florida State did not challenge the loss of scholarship reductions that included two in football this year and another next year.
So how many more scholarships will Bobby Bowden be willing to forego to get his tainted wins back?
There has been speculation about what affect this has on the all-time wins race between Paterno and Bowden. Many feel that if the 14 wins are deleted for Bowden, this effectively ends the race. This assumption is based on the fact that F$U will likely not renew Bowden’s contract in 2010, because it would necessitate a large buyout of Jimbo Fisher, who has already been anointed for the job.
But we already know that F$U’s boosters are capable of raising ridiculous amounts of money to buy out contracts (refer to the buyout of Bowden’s son Jeff as exhibit A,) so that doesn’t guarantee that Bobby won’t be coaching at F$U beyond 2010. Moreover, it certainly doesn’t exclude the possibility that Bobby might not continue coaching elsewhere if he chooses. Surely some University will see the opportunity to have a legend on their sidelines. Hell, if he coaches for Tallahassee High School , those wins will still likely count for his career total!
Some even speculate that Paterno might consider retirement if Bobby is no longer coaching. Well, like I just said, I’m not convinced that it is a given that Bowden will not be coaching till he drops, and therefore, I would expect the same for Paterno. And even if Bowden raises the white flag and retires, it’s not a done deal that Paterno would do likewise.