NoleDigest's Seminole Opinion talks FSU&NCAA

In one of's newest features readers get their chance to wax poetic on topics important to Florida State fans. In the first edition of the "Seminole Opinion" 3 members talk about Bobby Bowden and his reaction to the NCAA ruling.

Steve (Steve51)

First off most of you know my stance on Bobby. I think it is past time for him to retire (way past), but this blog isn't about that so I'll continue past that.

In recent statements Bobby has indicated that he would like to coach until he reaches the 400 win plateau. An admiral mark and one that would surely give him the D-1A record, as most assuredly Joe Paterno will have retired by then, if PSU could even win enough the next few years to reach that with him. In regards to those statements and recent history it comes as an EASY conclusion for me to reach that Bobby is staying around for that selfish reason to retire as Division 1's most winning College Football coach.

I say that to say this: Bobby doesn't want the wins vacated because it is "smashing a flea with a hammer" it's because he wants that record. I don't think there are many that would disagree that Bobby has been pretty selfish the last few years (4-5 or longer). With that in mind why would anyone think he cares about Track or any other sport having to vacate wins? He knows the record is all but GONE if he loses those 14 games. That's an extra 2 years that he really doesn't have. Lets be honest coaching wise he is running on borrowed time as it is.

As far as the NCAA sanctions go in one corner you have the people who are going to say just accept ALL the sanctions and move on. Let the rest of the nation (or at the very least the FSU fans) know that we were wrong and we are accepting the punishment, and we will not stand for future mistakes like it. In the other corner you have those that truly think the NCAA is "killing fleas with a hammer" and thinks FSU should appeal the vacation of the wins. The thinking there is the punishment doesn't fit the crime and how can we be punished for playing guys we didn't know where ineligible.

I would like to side with the first theory. However I know that what's going to come along WITH that is Bobby staying at FSU longer, which will make a bad situation worse. If he keeps pushing eventually the administration and boosters will push him out (it eventually will happen...the question is WHEN). However with the later Theory, hopefully Bobby retires sooner as he has those 14 wins under his belt still. Maybe ideally they can take the wins away and Bobby will think that he has no chance and just retire on the spot...saving himself and the University a lot of grief and a potentially BAD divorce later down the road. Basically I'm for whichever one gets Bobby out the door sooner!

As far as what Bobby said….I've already stated that Bobby needs to be quiet and let the University talk to the NCAA and the courts, etc. TK, Bobby and anyone else needs to stay out of the media about this. Win or lose the appeal! Talking to the media is not going to help. ESPECIALLY trying to downplay the event. That just isn't EVER going to look good in the media.

You would have thought Bobby learned that in previous FSU trouble spots...most notably PW's "It's not like I killed the president" quote. Genius Bobby...just Genius!

Joe (Wanole)

After seeing many posts on the issue of how should FSU handle the situation with the NCAA vacating wins due to player ineligibility I have somewhat come around to it being the right thing to do in appealing. At first it seemed like a move just to keep Bobby in the wins race, but then after seeing multiple opinions I can see where you don't want the NCAA using your University as a precedent for ruling kids ineligible retroactive to when the cheating occurred. If it wasn't TK as our president and someone with a more Academic background I probably wouldn't have had a problem in the first place, but I had to question TK's motives. I was ready just to take our lumps and move on.

The whole problem I had was when did our administration find out and the amount of cheating that went on. It involved professors and tutors, yet nobody knew what was going on? All this after the Athletic Department had been scrutinized for its handling of student academics. These are the things I struggled with when it came to appealing the ruling. It also didn't help with the way TK handled this in the media. His actions sometimes in my opinion bring more embarrassment to FSU than the cheating itself. Keeping this out in the media the way he is doesn't help the situation and he has to know the media isn't going to spin it in his favor.

Then there is Bobby and his hitting a gnat with a hammer analogy. Sigh. A quarter of your team cheated under your watch and you come across with that? Why not just man up and say we're moving forward with putting corrective actions in place to make sure this doesn't happen again? Instead, he wants to be the victim. This blasé attitude leads to situations like this because these young men don't see a real penalty for breaking the rules. Sooner or later you're going to have to set examples and rule with an iron fist. Please for future reference keep thoughts like that in house and behind closed doors. I know its Bobby being Bobby, but now isn't the time.

Frank (ffnole) Bobby, degrees of stiffness, speedtraps and a flea

Making his first public comments about the NCAA ruling that could cost him several victories from the 2006 and 2007 seasons, Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden declared Wednesday that the punishment was "too stiff. There are different degrees of doing something wrong," said Bowden, 79, who finished last season one victory behind Penn State's Joe Paterno (383-382) on the career wins list for major-college football. "You can go 5 miles over the speed limit. That's one thing. Or you can go 50 miles over the speed limit, and that's dangerous.

"It just seems like they're killing a flea with a hammer."

So since when is our program now diminished to a flea? I am appalled at the comparison. We are now just nipping at others heels. As a corporate banker who enjoys his well deserved bonus from a healthy TARP company, this is like me calling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a gnat's ass before he contemplates his recommendation on the 90% unconstitutional bonus surplus tax bill passed by Congress. I can call Barney Fife (aka Frank) any name in the book because he has already voted without his brain but 'ol Harry I am still counting on to provide some common sense and perspective. I want Harry to respect my opinion before he votes on my future. Likewise, just how smart is it for the head football coach to be saying anything about this decision until the appeal has been heard? What good did it do? Bobby is now about as popular with the NCAA Infractions Committee as AIG is with the average Joe Sixpack taxpayer.

Last time I checked, TK Blunderall said this was an academic matter. So why is the senile football coach opening his trap at all? It is bad enough to hear TK whine about "it isn't faaaaaaaaair" but then his former coach has to bring out the hammer and the poor flea. The problem with Bobby's five miles over the speed limit debate is that we missed the speed bump to start with. I am a strong advocate of appealing as you know. This is likely a slam dunk win for FSU except for our PresiAD starting off the whole press conference on a tirade that went longer than a Bill Clinton speech or, for that matter, executive session with an intern. Or, more to the point, our Head Football Coach Long Past Waiting insulting the intelligence of the dummies who ruled against us in the first place.

To the topic of this blog...Coach Bowden and his flea, hammer, speeding ticket and stiffness problem (talk to Ann about the latter issue Bobby). You are the PR firm FSU didn't hire to advise on this matter. What does Coach Bowden say that will enhance our ability to win this appeal? Should he have said anything at all? Should he have taken some action in response to the penalties? Coach needs some good advice. Help him out here. What should he have done and what should he do going forward until this is resolved?

Blog your little heart out on this subject. Ffnole is out.

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