Bobby Bowden made an odd statement to the press that is worth examination. In regard to the current academic fraud case, he said this. "I've been through this before. It's not my first rodeo.. "It ain't time to cut and run. ... I ain't never run from a fight, and I ain't running from this one, I guarantee you."
My question for him is who is he fighting? Is it the fans, the press, or the NCAA? It really is difficult to understand why he is being so defiant. I am trying to understand what he is talking about. Did FSU president T. K. Wetherell not tell Bobby that FSU self-reported the academic fraud?
The NCAA and I am clearly no fan of them did not pick this fight. FSU by its lax monitoring and the players by their cheating are the ones who Bobby Bowden should be directing any anger toward. FSU must now prepare a report to the NCAA and then have the NCAA determine if further sanctions should be levied against FSU. FSU in the future may be fighting what penalties the NCAA may levy but I doubt if Bowden was talking about that.
I hope Bowden is not saying that the suspensions for the players was too harsh and instead they should be running stadium steps. It would be refreshing to hear him express in no uncertain terms his extreme disappointment with those players who cheated and lied.
While I am no admirer of Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer, Bowden should have expressed what Fulmer said when some of his players recently got into academic trouble. Said Fulmer, "In most of these cases, it was simply the student-athlete not being accountable and doing their work. " Bobby Bowden has not come close to saying that in regard to the players who cheated.
If he is reacting to those who say that he should retire, then that is another story. One can only wonder how tarnished his legacy has to get before he realizes that it may be time to retire.
It is time for Bowden and FSU to be candid and honest and to fix the problems instead of resorting to defiant language. Fights are not what this is about. This issue goes to the core of the integrity of a football program. Bowden as its leader must set the ethical bar high instead of using rhetoric that confuses and tends to exacerbate an already troubling situation.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Posted by tallynolefan at 5:14 AM