Florida State Seminoles

Happy Birthday Coach Bobby Bowden

As I sit here in the press box at Doak Campbell Stadium/Bobby Bowden Field, awaiting tonight’s Veterans Day/Military Appreciation Day game with Boston College, I think back to just about a year ago this time. With Coach Bowden just turning 87 this week (November 8) I think it’s once again time (or as I feel past time) to perhaps right a wrong!


This was my observation from a year ago!

 On this Saturday, November 14, 2015 it was Homecoming in Tallahassee!

This is the day, legendary coach Bobby Bowden was honored on the 35th anniversary of

winning the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year award.

With that being said, what about coach Bowden’s wins as well as Florida State’s consecutive bowl streak?

The NCAA has vacated the win against UCLA in the 2006 Walnut Bowl, for the alleged cheating scandal

involving athletes. Of course, this is only on paper as those with knowledge of the sport know the last

time they did not appear in a bowl game was in 1981.

Think about that for a moment and what happened in 1981?

In January Georgia defeated Notre Dame to win the 1980 National Championship.

A few weeks later Ronald Reagan was sworn into office as the 40th President.

The Oakland Raiders defeated the Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl XV.

Also in 1981, George Rogers was the 1st pick in the NFL draft and Bear Bryant won his 315th game

to pass Amos Alonzo Stagg. Also, Marcus Allen won the Heisman.

Born in 1981: Eli Manning, Troy Polamalu, Wes Welker, Vince Wilfork and Philip Rivers.

The Quarterback of that 1981 Florida State Seminole team was current MTSU Head Coach Rick Stockstill.


Ironically, this supposed scandal involved not only athletes, but the general student body. There were no privileges bestowed upon athletes exclusively. To further put light on the subject, it had to do with a music appreciation course and was an open book test!

Someone had made up a sheet with all of the answers and anyone, not just athletes, could take advantage of the material.

A question that I did not research but do not recall hearing of this but, were any of the general student population that also took advantage of this either expelled or otherwise disciplined? 

When Florida State found out about it, they self-reported the issue to the NCAA and took it upon themselves to suspend any athletes involved. With all of this damage control (and self-reporting) the NCAA decides that Coach Bowden should lose 12 victories, that were earned on the field. As a case in point, weren’t Joe Paterno’s wins restored to him? This was, in what I would consider, a far worse situation given it involved the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Has it just not come to light recently that there was a cover-up at Penn State? You make the comparison on this event. In discussing this with some of the media personnel, that have covered FSU for years, they (as well as I) think it boils down to the NCAA having a vendetta, against FSU, because of the Seminole name being used by the team. It was the Seminole Tribe itself, that went to bat for FSU and said they “were honored” that Florida State recognized their part in the history of our country! Are there not other major universities that still use native American names?

Off the top of my head I can think of a few. What about the University of Illinois Fighting Illini, Central Michigan Chippewas or the Utah Utes? Again, in my and many others opinions, let’s restore these wins to the legendary Bobby Bowden. Even though he was dropped back into 2nd in all-time wins, after Joe Paterno’s wins were restored, Coach Bowden said himself that it was the right thing to do. Maybe the NCAA should rethink their position and do the proper thing.


Remember, this was not just a situation involving only student athletes! The student athletes received no special privileges in this supposed scandal.


*** As a side note, if the NCAA were to restore Coach Bowden’s wins, there are some other sports at FSU where

coaches had victories taken away. ***




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