The Biggest Penalty Will Be Paid Personally By Bobby Bowden
Fellow ACC Atlantic Division member Florida State has been placed on four years probation by the NCAA:
The Florida State football team will vacate an undetermined number of wins, serve four years’ probation, and face a reduction in scholarships and other penalties due to what the NCAA described Friday as “major violations” from an academic cheating scandal.
Nine other programs were also penalized — baseball, men’s track and field, women’s track and field, men’s swimming, women’s swimming, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, softball and men’s golf — and face the same sanctions. Overall, the scandal involved 61 athletes.
The football team will be limited to 83 total scholarships in 2008-09; 82 in 2009-10; and 84 in 2010-11; the maximum usually allowed by the NCAA is 85. Florida State self-imposed the loss of the two scholarships for 2008-09, and will self-impose the loss of three scholarships for 2009-10. The NCAA added an additional loss of scholarship from the maximum in 2010-11.
The Orlando Sentinel adds that the sanctions will negatively impact Bobby Bowden’s NCAA wins record, because the forfeits
“include regular season contests, postseason contests and any NCAA championship competition. The individual records of the student-athletes shall be vacated as well.
“Further, the institution’s records regarding all of the involved sports, as well as the records of the head coaches of those sports will reflect the vacated records and will be recorded in all publications in which these records are reported, including, but not limited to, institution media guides, recruiting material, electronic and digital media plus institution and NCAA archives. Any public reference to tournament performances won during this time shall be removed, including, but not limited to, athletics department stationery and banners displayed in public areas such as the venues in which the specified teams compete.”
All in all, for FSU it could have been worse. They do not lose any post-season rights, television rights and the scholarship impact is fairly minimal. No scholarship penalties have been announced for the FSU hoops squad, so it looks like the brunt of the punishment will be absorbed by the football side of the house.
Naturally there are cries of how unfair it all is to Bobby Bowden in the same Florida newspaper:
If indeed FSU does have to forfeit a significant number of football victories, Bobby Bowden’s legacy sadly becomes tainted. Bobby is currently one victory behind Joe Paterno on the all-time wins list. If numerous victories are forfeited, it would all but end Bobby’s chances of becoming the all-time winningest coach in major college football history.
It would be a shame if Bowden has to end of his brilliant career soiled by the stink of this investigation. Especially when you know he had absolutely nothing to do with this academic scandal.
A fair point, but the thing is that Bowden no doubt got some benefit from players remaining eligible to play because of academic fraud, so the victories are indeed tainted. That’s not to say Coach Bowden had anything whatsoever to do with the problems, but the NCAA is punishing the university as a whole, and sadly a good man is caught up in a bad situation.