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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old February 21st, 2009, 13:25 Thread Starter
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Florida State Seminoles Thread

Florida State Team Report

Yahoo! Sports
Feb 6, 2009

The Seminoles returned to their roots in recruiting, proving home is where you can best woo hearts.


Of their 21 signees on national signing day, 13 were from Florida, including six from a tri-county area around Tallahassee.


“We reached a decision a couple of years ago—let’s try to work Florida more,” FSU head coach Bobby Bowden said. “The first thing you know you’re going all over the country and you’re ignoring the boys in your home state.”


Part of the new focus, however, is also a consequence of the Seminoles losing status nationally. During their dynasty era, the Seminoles fielded calls from prospects across the nation seeking to be recruited. But when the team began struggling on the field at the start of this decade, the recruiting slipped badly and FSU lost connections and favor with high school programs in Florida.


It is one of the biggest reasons for this program’s decline. The Seminoles once fought for every top player in Florida, then all of a sudden the Florida Gators were grabbing the state’s best players and others headed out of state.


“I always prefer to work from the inside out,” Bowden said. “I wish we could get 25 from Tallahassee. It would save a lot of money. We’re trying to get back more to our home state and we’re doing that. And it will probably reap good benefits from that, too.”


Efforts from offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, who has also been the unofficial recruiting coordinator, has been a big factor, along with Bowden’s shakeup that injected some new coaches into the staff.


Florida State also made inroads this year in talent-rich Valdosta, Ga., located just 90 minutes from the FSU campus. For the first time since 1981, the Seminoles signed players from this area by landing star safety Greg Reid and defensive back Gerald Demps, both of whom went to Lowndes County High School.


Still, there were some notable misses. The Seminoles used to never lose a great player from the Pensacola, Fla. area, which is only three hours from their campus. But they missed on megastar running back Trent Richardson, the nation’s top-rated back according to most recruiting services. He signed with Alabama. This is a guy who would have been an easy catch 10 years ago, but the Seminoles had to fight to even get him to take an official visit.


Within their own town, the Seminoles also lost nationally acclaimed safety Jawanza Starling, a Tallahassee-Lincoln High star, who signed with Southern Cal. Again, 10 years ago this would have been unheard of.


They lost two head-to-head battles with rival Florida for receiver Andre Debose, considered the state’s best, and tight end Orson Charles, also rated tops in the state. But they also won some battles with Florida, which was huge for the Seminoles.


And unlike the past couple of years, they pulled near Florida in terms of overall class ranking. This time, the Seminoles didn’t have to read and hear how the Gators dominated in recruiting. It’s getting closer to the way it once was.


“I’m very pleased. It’s an excellent group,” Bowden said. “The key to this whole thing is evaluation. Evaluation.”


Top Recruits:


TB Chris Thompson—FSU running backs coach Dexter Carter proclaimed that Thompson (5-foot-9, 175 pounds) can be another “Warrick Dunn, only faster.” It’s a high compliment for a player hampered by injury this season. He had nearly 2,300 yards and 33 touchdowns as a junior and was named Class 2A player of the year.


WR-SS Willie Downs—Made his name at Tallahassee’s Godby High School as a receiver. He had a school-record 144 career catches and 2,396 yards. But he’s strongly considering playing safety, a position of immediate need for FSU. Downs was outstanding in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, returning an interception for a score, breaking up two passes and causing a fumble.


DB Greg Reid—The Seminoles hope he is their next great cover corner. He was Parade All-American and the Associated Press’ Player of the Year in all classifications for the state of Georgia.


DT Jacobi McDaniel—He was named USA Today first-team All-America and Parade All-America. He was the Tallahassee Democrat’s Big Bend defensive player of the year. Rivals.com ranked him as the nation’s No. 15 overall player.


WR Rodney Smith—Hails from Miami’s Bishop Carroll High School and continues the Seminoles’ pipeline from the talent-rich Miami-Dade County region. He finished with 35 catches for 703 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior All-State Class 2-A second team. Ranked 65th nationally overall by Rivals.com.


DT Demonte McAllister—As a senior, the Tampa star made 30 of his 97 tackles behind line of scrimmage. He also had 19 sacks. Rivals ranks him as the No. 70 player overall in the nation.

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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old February 21st, 2009, 13:26 Thread Starter
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Notes, Quotes

• QB D’Vontrey Richardson is planning to focus on baseball, where he is considered a pro prospect as an outfielder with good speed and decent power. If he participates in spring football, it will likely be as a safety. That leaves the Seminoles with starter Christian Ponder and freshman E.J. Manuel. For insurance, the Seminoles signed Will Secord, a mid-level rank quarterback from Texas.


• DE Jerome Mincey, who had a disappointing junior year, has already shown signs of a big senior year. He has worked steadily in the weight room and is likely to increase his playing weight to 290 pounds with more speed. He was unable to work out last summer because of academic woes and missed the first three games of 2008 season.


• DT Marcus White has been impressive during the team’s “mat drills” winter workout session. He should head into spring practice as a starter. He had 24.5 sacks and led all jucos at Butler (Kan.) C.C. for QB sacks.


• The Seminoles are still trying to work out their 2009 schedule with Miami as the season-opening game. The Hurricanes and FSU have been reluctant to play on Labor Day Monday, but ESPN wants the matchup for its TV package with the ACC, mainly because the matchup produces huge ratings. This year’s game is in Tallahassee.


• While Bobby Bowden signed a new one-year contract worth $2.5 million, offensive line coach Rick Trickett remained unsigned. There is real concern about Trickett’s future at FSU, given the negotiation breakdown. He has been a popular coach among FSU fans because of visible improvement in the offensive line under his watch. When he was hired, Trickett signed a contract in February 2007 that paid him a base salary of $300,000 and $100,000 compensation for speaking engagements and public relations with alumni, boosters and other groups.


• Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, the designated “head coach in waiting,” was named one of the top 25 recruiters in college football by Rivals100.com, following the Feb. 4 national signing day.


• The Seminoles lost only defensive end Everette Brown as an early entry to the NFL draft, but he will be a big loss. Brown was the Seminoles’ best rush end in many years and changed several games with big plays.


• The Seminoles wasted little time looking ahead at the 2010 class. They may gain oral commitments from as many as a half-dozen players in the next two months.


Quote To Note: “I was just watching television on the (Feb. 4) signings, and I don’t know if anybody in Florida did a bad job. There’s so many players in this dadgum state. Now it’s going to get down to who evaluated best.”—Florida State coach Bobby Bowden on recruiting the variety of players within his state.


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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old February 21st, 2009, 13:26 Thread Starter
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Strategy And Personnel

Spring Ahead: The Seminoles want to address several key issues in the spring with much of the focus on offense. Though he was the starter last season, quarterback Christian Ponder will still need to reaffirm his status as the No. 1 guy. The Seminoles signed E.J. Manuel a year ago and arrived with high acclaim. With D’Vontrey Richardson likely gone to focus on baseball or moving to safety, it will be a Ponder-Manuel battle in the spring. The Seminoles still have to be convinced Ponder is a consistent playmaker and not merely another average quarterback. He nearly threw as many interceptions (13) as touchdown passes (14) last season, and the Seminoles have been down this road before with previous quarterbacks.


At tailback, the graduation loss of starter Antone Smith opens the door for Jermaine Thomas, who showed good performance in a limited role last season as a freshman. The other key player is Tavares Pressley, a junior college transfer who sat out last season with knee surgery. There will also be a free-for-all at wide receiver following the graduation loss of Greg Carr, the dismissal of Preston Parker and the likely eligibility loss of Corey Surrency. But the Seminoles have eight receivers on the roster and signed three more, so they should be in good shape.


The other main issue will be placekicker. The Seminoles have to hope their signing of Dustin Hopkins from Houston can fill the void left by star Graham Gano. On defense, the Seminoles will be looking for position battles at safety and defensive line.


Pro Potential:


DE Everette Brown—He’s easily the best-rated player from FSU and is projected to be a first-round pick. How he does in the NFL combine in late February, along with private workouts, will be vital. Brown is a speed rusher, which is a valuable commodity in the NFL. He also changed games by making sacks, causing fumbles or forcing interceptions with pressure.


PK-P Graham Gano—If kicking jobs were more plentiful in the NFL, Gano would be even higher rated. But he joins Brown as the only two FSU players invited to the NFL combine, so that should tell you plenty about FSU’s prospects. Gano came from nowhere in 2008, rising to lead the nation in field goals, set all sorts of school records and be an equally valuable punter in pinning teams inside the 10. He won the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s best kicker. Some team will draft him, but there just are not that many openings in the NFL for kickers. Gano must prove he has the leg strength for kickoffs.


WR Greg Carr—He was a late entry to the Senior Bowl when players began getting hurt, but Carr’s two biggest drawbacks are huge. He does not have tremendous speed, nor has he proved to be an effective route runner. His main strength is using his size at 6-foot-6 to create mismatches, and his leaping ability created spectacular catches for touchdowns in short fade routes near the goal line. For those reasons, someone will likely draft Carr and hope he can develop beyond a one-trick pony.


LB Derek Nicholson—He led the Seminoles in tackles and was an effective run stopper, but like his older brother, A.J., who was a bust in the NFL, there are character issues. He was not invited to the Senior Bowl or the NFL combine and is going to have to prove he can play during private workouts.


Roster Report:


• The troubled career of once-star receiver Preston Parker ended with the Seminoles, following his DUI arrest on Jan. 30. It was found Parker did not have a high alcohol content but had smoked marijuana when police found him asleep at the wheel in a McDonald’s drive-through in Tallahassee. That followed his arrest last summer for marijuana and concealed-weapon charges, along with being involved in the academic fraud scandal. It’s shocking how far this guy fell. He was the Seminoles’ top playmaker and few bright spots of the 2007 season and was named team MVP.


• FS Jamie Robinson was set to be the only experienced safety returning for the Seminoles. But it’s likely he will shift back to cornerback, the position he was recruited to play and the position he played his first two years. The Seminoles have such a dire need for cover corners in order to play man-to-man coverage, that might cause a shakeup in both safety positions. SS Myron Rolle was a post-grad senior and is now heading to England to fulfill a Rhodes Scholarship. It means the Seminoles will have no safety with playing experience starting next season, which is never a good sign.


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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old March 7th, 2009, 12:38 Thread Starter
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NCAA's punishment of Florida State unfairly tarnishes Bobby Bowden's legacy

March 7, 2009

Six obscure committee members did what nobody else has been able to do in the legendary coach's 50 years in the business.

They did what Steve Spurrier couldn't do.

They did what Howard Schnellenberger couldn't do.

They did what Tom Osborne, Joe Paterno, Urban Meyer and even Tim Tebow couldn't do.

They tainted Bobby Bowden's proud legacy.

And make no mistake about it, Bowden's place in history is seriously compromised by the NCAA Committee on Infractions report Friday that says FSU must vacate up to 14 football victories that occurred during a massive academic-fraud scandal. With those wins, Bowden is one behind Joe Paterno on the all-time list. If numerous victories are forfeited, the aging Bowden's chances of surpassing Paterno are destroyed.

Poll question: What most hurt Bobby's chances of beating out Paterno — the NCAA Committee on Infractions or his son Jeff?

But seriously, it just doesn't seem fair or right that Bobby Bowden, one of the greatest ambassadors college football has ever known, is being punished more than anyone else in this academic-fraud case. And, worse yet, he's being punished for the malfeasance of others.

What a disgrace if Bowden has the end of his brilliant career soiled by the stink of this investigation. Especially when it wasn't of his doing.

Does anybody really believe ol' Bobby knew some of his players were cheating in an online music course? Heck, Bobby doesn't know what his players are doing on the field half the time, let alone in the classroom.

Honestly, do you think Joe Paterno himself monitors his players' academic progress? Pete Carroll? Bob Stoops? George O'Leary?

OK, maybe O'Leary does, but you get my point. The fact is, all major college football programs have thriving academic-support staffs that are under the supervision not of the football coach but of the athletic director. In fact, FSU's academic-support staff is not even under the supervision of the AD, it's under the supervision of the university administration.

Granted, Bowden is the CEO of the football program and he is ultimately responsible for what goes on, but can't the NCAA give a special "Saint Bobby" dispensation in this case? Can't committee members take into account what Bowden has meant to the game?

"The Committee does not get into a famous athlete or a famous coach who has a record involved," said committee chairman Dennis Thomas, the commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. "The Committee reviews the facts as they are presented and gives no thought whatsoever to a head coach about to break a record."

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with FSU getting hammered in this case. The NCAA was understandably perturbed that university employees were actually helping athletes cheat. All you had to do was read some of the report or listen to Thomas address the media to understand the magnitude of such blatant academic transgressions.

Thomas and his committee used terms such as "extremely serious" and "egregious" and "intentional" to characterize the violations. They described it as "widespread academic fraud perpetuated purposefully" by three members of the school's academic-support staff.

When you have university employees helping athletes cheat on tests, the sanctions should be severe. And believe me, FSU's were.

Four years of probation. A loss of scholarships. A loss of victories. A loss of integrity. A loss of reputation.

And, sadly, the biggest loss of Bowden's glorious career:

The loss of his legacy.

FSU is clearly angered and confused by having to vacate victories and seems ready to appeal the penalty.

Said school President T.K. Wetherell: "We just don't understand the sanction to vacate all wins. …"

Added Athletic Director Randy Spetman: "I believe vacating wins is just wrong."

Well then, go out and do something about it. There is an appellate process in which Florida State could conceivably trade future scholarships to have past victories restored. Normally, such a trade-off would not even be considered, but these are obviously special circumstances.

In the NCAA report, the committee explained that if it had not taken away past victories, it would have taken away more future scholarships. "Had no vacation penalty been imposed," committee members concluded, "the scholarship limitations would have been more stringent."

Florida State should do everything in its power to clear Bobby's name and reinstate his victories. If this sanction is allowed to stand, Bowden's Wikipedia page will always include at least one notation: "Had a chance to become college football's all-time winningest coach until he had victories wiped out during an NCAA investigation."

It would be a shame, an absolute shame, if the iconic Bobby Bowden had his magnificent legacy trashed by a scandal he had absolutely nothing to do with.

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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old March 8th, 2009, 11:50 Thread Starter
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NCAA gives Florida State 4 years’ probation

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)—Florida State may have to forfeit some of coach Bobby Bowden’s 382 wins and will be on probation for the next four years as part of its punishment for a widespread academic cheating scandal.

The Seminoles will have to give up two scholarships this recruiting season and one the following year. Other sports will lose scholarships and have victories—including three NCAA national championships in track and field— threatened.

The NCAA said 61 Florida State athletes cheated on an online test from the fall of 2006 through summer 2007 or received improper help from staffers who provided them with answers to the exam and typed papers for them.

The NCAA said the school must vacate all wins in contests in which athletes involved in the cheating participated. That could involve up to 14 football victories.

Florida State President T.K. Wetherell said the university would consider appealing any efforts to strip it of wins or titles.

“We did not allow anyone who we knew was ineligible to compete,” Wetherell said in a statement from the school. “Our position throughout the inquiry was that as soon as we knew of a problem, they didn’t play.”

The 79-year-old Bowden, who has often stated he wanted to reach 400 wins before calling it a career, was not available to comment on the NCAA report.

The men’s basketball program will lose one scholarship for two years and the women’s program will be down two for two years. Other programs were hit with fractional reductions.

The cheating took place in football, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s track and field and men’s golf.

The committee called the Florida State case “extremely serious” because of the large number of athletes involved, and cited unethical conduct by three former staff members and a failure to monitor by the university.

The cheating occurred mainly through online testing for a single music history course in the fall of 2006 and the spring and summer semesters of 2007. It included staffers helping students on the test and, in one case, asking one athlete to take it for another.

Florida State played in the 2007 Music City Bowl without two dozen players, including several starters. The Seminoles were defeated by Kentucky. Many of the same athletes were held out of the first three games last fall as part of their punishment.

Dennis Thomas, commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, said the infractions committee didn’t consider the venerable Florida State coach when contemplating penalties.

“The committee does not get into whether or not you have a famous athlete or a famous coach or if a record is involved,” Thomas said. “The committee adjudicates the facts.”

Thomas said the school would decide which athletes were ineligible in which games, in effect determining what games it might have to forfeit.

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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old March 9th, 2009, 00:08 Thread Starter
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C'Mon NCAA...give the Old Man a frikken break !!!!!

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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old March 12th, 2009, 10:49 Thread Starter
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FSU to respond to sanctions Tuesday

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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old April 7th, 2009, 10:12 Thread Starter
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FSU suspends WR Owens indefinitely (AP)

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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old April 14th, 2009, 10:40 Thread Starter
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It seems like Bowden will NEVER catch up Joe Pa ... The removal of the won games with uneligible players will go thru, meaning the Seminoles/Bowden might lose as many as 11 games ......

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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old April 24th, 2009, 10:41 Thread Starter
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Florida State appeals part of NCAA sanctions

Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)—

Florida State officials told the NCAA on Thursday it’s unfair to penalize coach Bobby Bowden as part of the sanctions announced last month, resulting from an academic cheating scandal that involved dozens of athletes.

In a formal 28-page written appeal by a private attorney representing the school and dated April 23, the university said the penalty that includes forfeits in football and nine other sports was too harsh.

“Even if this committee upholds the vacation penalty, it should not require the reconfiguration of the records of innocent head coaches,” attorney William Williams wrote in the school’s 28-page submission.

Bowden has 382 career wins—one fewer than Penn State’s Joe Paterno, the all-time major college leader. Losing 14 wins would virtually ruin any chance Bowden has of catching Paterno.

In his only comment on the issue, the 79-year-old Bowden said last month that he thought the sanctions were too stiff.

“Does the punishment fit the crime?” Bowden asked. “I think that’s the thing, that’s the thing we gotta find the answer to right there.”

Bowden was out of town Thursday on his annual booster tour and unavailable to comment on the school’s formal appeal.

Williams said it was also unfair vacate individual records by athletes not involved in the academic misconduct.

Although the NCAA told Florida State it should vacate all team and individual records for contests where the ineligible athletes competed, opponents would not benefit or be able to claim victory.

The NCAA said Florida State would have to surrender victories in games where ineligible student-athletes participated in the fall of 2006 and 2007 and spring of 2007.

The cheating occurred mainly through online testing for a single music history course in the fall of 2006 and the spring and summer semesters of 2007. It included staffers helping students on the test and in one case asking one athlete to take it for another.

The school, however, accepted the loss of scholarships in 10 sports and a four-year probation the NCAA announced March 6.

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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old June 3rd, 2009, 11:21 Thread Starter
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NCAA response to Fla. State appeal kept secret

By BRENT KALLESTAD, Associated Press Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)—The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions responded Tuesday to Florida State’s appeal of sanctions from an academic cheating scandal, but keep its answer secret and gave the school 15 days to respond.

Florida State is challenging a portion of the sanctions announced in March that would force the school to vacate as many as 14 of Bowden’s 382 career wins — just one fewer than Penn State’s Joe Paterno.

The university’s general counsel, Betty Steffens, will prepare a rebuttal that will be made public, at least in part, university officials said.

“Our comment will be the rebuttal,” associate athletic director Rob Wilson said. “We’ll all know a lot more when we send this thing back.”

Two dozen football players were among 61 Florida State athletes involved in the cheating, which occurred mainly through online testing in a music history course at Florida State in 2006 and 2007. It included staffers helping students on the test and in one case asking one athlete to take it for another.

The school did not challenge the loss of scholarships in 10 sports and a four-year probation.

The university’s president, T.K. Wetherell, said in March that sanctions stripping Bowden of coaching wins were “excessive and inappropriate.” He said it was unfair to roughly 500 athletes and 52 coaches who had nothing to do with the cheating.

Bowden, who has won two national championships since becoming Florida State’s coach in 1976, has also said he thinks the penalties were too stiff.

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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old June 9th, 2009, 11:20 Thread Starter
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FSU gets 15 more days to respond to NCAA (AP)

The NCAA's Committee on Infractions responded Tuesday to Florida State's appeal of sanctions from an academic cheating scandal, but keep its answer secret and gave the school 15 days to respond. Florida State is challenging a portion of the sanctions announced in March that would force the school to vacate as many as 14 of Bowden's 382 career wins -- just one fewer than Penn State's Joe Paterno.

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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old June 14th, 2009, 15:49 Thread Starter
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Fla. attorney general: NCAA must release letter

By BRENT KALLESTAD, Associated Press Writer

Jun 12, 2009

The NCAA must release copies of its response to Florida State’s appeal of penalties stemming from academic violations, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said Friday.

In a letter addressed to NCAA president Myles Brand, the attorney general said failure to release the contents of the letter or provide access to them could result in a $1,000 fine, a year in jail, or both.

“In as much as the NCAA has provided the letter in format which the university may only view, but not download or otherwise copy, it appears that the NCAA is therefore acting as the custodian of this record on behalf of the university,” McCollum wrote. “A lack of physical custody of a document does not excuse Florida State University from its obligations under Florida law.”

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said it had received the letter, but hadn’t had a chance to review it. She said Thursday that private correspondence between the NCAA and its member institutions has long been established to maintain the integrity of investigations.

Officials from Florida State did not immediately returns calls Friday seeking comment on McCollum’s letter.

Several news organizations, including The Associated Press, have formally requested a copy of the NCAA response to an appeal of sanctions resulting from an academic cheating scandal at the school that would strip it of wins in 10 sports, including victories achieved by longtime football coach Bobby Bowden.

“The records request is therefore all the more important for the people of Florida, who wish to obtain vital information about a university matter in which have invested time, money and a sense of honor,” McCollum wrote.

Bowden could possibly lose as many as 14 of his career victories if the penalty from an academic cheating case sticks. That would make it difficult for Bowden to compete with Penn State’s Joe Paterno in their race for most victories among major college coaches. Paterno begins the 2009 season with 383, one more than Bowden.

McCollum, who is a Republican candidate for governor in 2010, said Florida statutes establishes a right of access to public records in plain and unequivocal terms.

“I urge your compliance,” he concluded.

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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old July 3rd, 2009, 17:35 Thread Starter
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Florida State says giving up wins unfair penalty

By BILL KACZOR, Associated Press Writer
Jul 1, 2009

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)—Florida State says it’s unfair to take wins off the individual records of football coach Bobby Bowden and other coaches and athletes who had no role in an academic cheating scandal.

In an appeal to the NCAA Wednesday, the university argued that a proposal to strip the school, its coaches and athletes of victories in several sports is too harsh and should be reversed.

If not, the penalty would cost Bowden up to 14 wins. Taking that many victories off his personal record would give Bowden little chance of catching Penn State’s Joe Paterno in their race to be major college football’s winningest coach. Paterno has 383 wins, just one more than Bowden, who is entering his 34th season at Florida State.

The appeal cites Florida State’s cooperation with the NCAA and self-imposed penalties including the loss of athletic scholarships and the suspension of those who cheated on an online music history test.

Florida State’s backup argument is that even if wins should be stripped from the school’s record, the individual records of innocent coaches and athletes should not be docked. Under that scenario Florida State would still lose its 1997 national championship in track and field and the football team would lose victories but Bowden would not.

The 20-page appeal says it serves no valid purpose to rewrite the won-loss records of a coach or a baseball or softball pitcher who did not cheat because of violations committed by others. It also notes that athletes whose accomplishments are measured by other factors such as touchdowns or rushing yards would not be punished.

“The NCAA should protect—and not penalize—those who play by the rules,” wrote Florida State’s legal team headed by William E. Williams.

The NCCA’s Infractions Committee in March added the loss of wins to the penalties Florida State imposed on itself last year. The case next goes to an infractions appeal committee, which is expected to hold a hearing later this year.

The university issued a statement saying there would be no comment on the appeal.

Florida State itself reported the violations to the NCAA, which then found 61 Seminole athletes had cheated on the test in 2006-07 or received improper help from staffers who provided answers or typed papers for them.

The NCAA’s Infractions Committee decided that “vacating,” or giving up wins—technically not forfeits because opponents’ records would remain unchanged—was justified because “what happened in that course was simply a symptom of a much larger disease—a systemic, ‘environmental’ problem among a large group of student-athletes and three staff members.”

The appeal says there’s no evidence to support that conclusion.

“This is mere hyperbole,” the lawyers wrote. “It is unquestioned that virtually all of the violations at issue are associated with a single, online music course.”

If academic fraud have been pandemic, there would have been violations in other courses, but that didn’t happen, the university argues.

The appeal traces the cheating to academic adviser Brenda Monk’s zeal in helping student-athletes with learning disabilities and her erroneous belief the music test was an “open book exam.” As soon as she realized her mistake, she reported it, the appeal says.

Florida State also argues the infractions committee broke precedent by failing to explain what weight it gave to the university’s cooperation and self-imposed sanctions, citing prior cases involving Alabama State, Howard, Alabama, Kentucky and Oklahoma.

That failure will discourage other schools from cooperating in the future and undermines the legitimacy of the penalties, the appeal states.

“It also compels reversal,” the lawyers wrote. “If the committee in fact weighed those factors, it did so in a black box that denies the university and this committee a meaningful opportunity to review the appropriateness of its logic and its decision.”

Finally, Florida State argues it never would have entered an agreement with NCAA staffers for the self-imposed penalties if officials had known the school also would lose wins.

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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old July 25th, 2009, 12:21 Thread Starter
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Florida State wants NCAA to pay legal fees in suit

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)—Florida State is back in court—suing the NCAA.

The school said Friday its wants the NCAA to pay its legal fees and other costs incurred in a suit filed against the university and the athletic governing body for failing to comply with Florida’s public records law.

General counsel Betty Steffen said it has been technically impossible for the school to make records in the case public because an NCAA Web site prohibits downloading or printing.

The lawsuit to force the release of documents in the university’s appeal of some NCAA sanctions in an academic cheating case is scheduled for a two-day hearing beginning Aug. 5.

The Associated Press and other newspaper and broadcast companies are suing the school and NCAA.

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post #16 of 57 (permalink) Old July 28th, 2009, 11:34 Thread Starter
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FSU’s Bobby Bowden hopes to hang on to 14 wins

By JOEDY McCREARY, AP Sports Writer



The soon-to-be octogenarian hopes to hang on to the 14 victories the NCAA wants to remove from his record due to an academic cheating scandal.

“I’m still thinking they’ll come to their senses,” the Florida State coach said Monday with a laugh during the Atlantic Coast Conference’s media days.

The 79-year-old Bowden continued to express his desire to remain in a chase with Penn State’s Joe Paterno to become the winningest coach in major college football. Bowden enters his 34th season in Tallahassee with 382 career wins— one fewer than Paterno.

“They’re just going to kill a good dadgum competition if they take those games away,” Bowden said. Reporters, he added, “don’t have a darned thing to write about if they take those games away. They might do it. I hope they don’t.”

At the heart of the dispute is whether the NCAA should take wins from Bowden and other coaches and athletes who had no role in a scandal that involved 61 athletes who allegedly cheated on an online music history test several seasons ago.

Florida State filed a 20-page appeal earlier this month, arguing that the penalty is too harsh and that even if the Seminoles’ program should lose victories, the individual records of coaches and players should not suffer.

“I’m going to tell (the school) to fight like you-know-what,” Bowden said. “I’m going to tell them to fight it (with) all we’re worth, and I’d fight it if I could, but there’s nothing I can do. But if we don’t win it, I’ll accept it.

“As soon as we spotted (cheating), we turned ourselves in (and) suspended them immediately,” he added. “Now, are they going to open up a can of worms here? Does that mean when ‘So-and-So State’ has a kid, middle of the season, gets caught cheating, they found out he cheated three weeks ago, they’ve got to go back and forfeit all those games he played in? … That’ll happen at every school in the United States of America.”

Paterno said Monday at the Big Ten media day it was “ridiculous” that the NCAA was considering stripping Bowden of the victories.

“Bobby played with what he had and he won with what he had,” Paterno said. “It bothers me a little bit that the NCAA would use him almost as a scapegoat for all of things that went on at Florida State. … I hope they let him keep his wins.”

Some of Bowden’s ACC rivals weren’t sure what to make of the veteran coach’s sticky situation.

North Carolina coach Butch Davis—whose rivalry with Bowden dates back to his time as an assistant at Miami in the mid-1980s and head coach there in the ’90s—steered clear of saying too much about it.

“It’s never come up in casual conversation with any of the other coaches, and I think probably the thing is that everybody’s like, ‘That’s Bobby and Florida State’s situation,”’ Davis said. “And none of us know.”

Said Miami’s Randy Shannon: “We’re all coaches, and we’re part of the coaching family. Everybody goes through it. When it hits you, you have to weather the storm and get back in control of it.”

Bowden turns 80 on Nov. 8—the day after the Seminoles play son Tommy’s former team, Clemson. The family’s patriarch insisted he hasn’t resigned himself to losing those wins—or the chase with Paterno.

“It won’t bother me one bit. I don’t live and die over stuff like that,” Bowden said. “I mean, I’d love to have it. I’d love for my children and my grandchildren to be able to say that’s their old man up there. But if it doesn’t happen, I won’t lose a second of sleep over it.”

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post #17 of 57 (permalink) Old July 28th, 2009, 11:36 Thread Starter
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NCAA says it doesn’t have to reveal FSU documents

By BILL KACZOR, Associated Press Writer


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)—The NCAA on Monday said it cannot be forced to release documents in Florida State University’s appeal of academic cheating penalties because the papers are not covered by the state’s public records law.

The NCAA asked Circuit Judge John C. Cooper to dismiss a lawsuit filed by The Associated Press and other news organizations seeking the records under Florida’s sunshine law.

The documents concern Florida State’s appeal of a plan to remove wins from the individual records of all coaches and athletes in several sports even though many, including football coach Bobby Bowden, had no roles in the cheating scandal.

Bowden could lose 14 victories. That would make it difficult for him to catch Penn State’s Joe Paterno in their race to post the most wins in major college football. Paterno has 383 victories, just one more than Bowden.

Cooper will hear the NCAA’s motion and others on Aug. 5.

He agreed, though, to delay a final two-day hearing, which had been set to start on that date, until Aug. 20-21.

The NCAA sought the delay because two of its key witnesses—both executives of the organization—will be unavailable on the original dates as they’ll be attending NCAA meetings on those days.

In the motion to dismiss, NCAA lawyer Thom Rumberger argues the documents are not public records and that the NCAA is neither a custodian of records, public body nor agency covered by the law.

Rumberger also contends the records are not public because the university, although a state institution, does not use public money to pay its NCAA dues or membership fees.

The news organizations sued last month for access to records that include the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions’ response to Florida State’s appeal of penalties for cheating by 61 athletes in several sports. They received improper help from staffers who gave them answers to an online music test or typed papers for them.

The suit accuses the NCAA, Florida State, school officials and a law firm working for the university of participating in “a scheme created to avoid public access.”

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post #18 of 57 (permalink) Old July 28th, 2009, 11:38 Thread Starter
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Bowden won’t trade scholarships for lost wins

By Steve Megargee, Rivals.com College Football Staff Writer


GREENSBORO, N.C. - Florida State coach Bobby Bowden doesn’t want the NCAA to give him back his 14 vacated wins if it means the Seminoles must give up scholarships in exchange.

Florida State is appealing the NCAA’s decision to take 14 of Bowden’s victories away as part of the penalty for an academic cheating scandal. The penalty would make it extremely difficult for Bowden to pass Penn State’s Joe Paterno as the winningest coach in major college football history.

“If they say, ‘Coach, we’re going to let you have those wins back, but we’re going to take away three scholarships,’ I won’t [want] that,” Bowden said Monday at the ACC Media Days gathering at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center.

Bowden also reiterated his criticism of the NCAA’s decision.

“It doesn’t seem fair to me,” he said. “And I have to think that the decision was made by somebody who doesn’t have the awareness of what’s going on in that regard.”

Bowden wants those vacated wins reinstated - just not at the expense of the program’s future.

“I don’t want my kids to suffer one game so that I can get my [wins] back,” Bowden said. “The NCAA doesn’t have to do that.”

Bowden, who turns 80 on Nov. 8, enters his 34th season at Florida State - and 44th year overall - with a 382-123-4 record if the NCAA reinstates those 14 victories. That would put him one win behind Paterno, who enters his 44th season at Penn State with a 383-127-3 mark.

If the NCAA reinstates those wins, Bowden still has a realistic shot at passing Paterno. Bowden otherwise has little chance unless he continues coaching after Paterno’s retirement, which seems an unlikely scenario now that offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher already has been named the Seminoles’ coach-in-waiting while Penn State has no succession plan in place.

“It’s worth fighting for but not dying for,” Bowden said. “If they let us have them, good. If they don’t, I won’t lose any sleep over it, but I’d be mad at somebody.”

Bowden also addressed the following other topics in a wide-ranging discussion:

His potential retirement date. “The one thing I’ve avoided discussing with any of them is the day I plan to retire, the year I plan to retire,” Bowden said. “I say I’ll let you know after each season. I just haven’t spelled that out to anybody.”

Arriving at Media Days this year without his son Tommy on hand as Clemson’s coach. “It does seem funny,” Bowden said. “Who’s going to give me a dang wakeup call? Who’s going to tell me, ‘Let’s go eat.’ Who’s going to tell me what time the meeting is?”

The legacy of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who will face Florida State on Nov. 28 in his final career home game. “Tebow’s the best leader I’ve ever seen,” Bowden said. “I mean, he is a leader.” Is he a better leader than former Florida State quarterback and 1993 Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward? “Charlie just did it on the field,” Bowden said. “This guy, he will jack guys up if they don’t do what he says. You can see him in there [yelling at them]. Charlie would never do that. [Former Florida State quarterback and 2000 Heisman Trophy winner Chris] Weinke might, but not Charlie.”

Longtime nemesis Steve Spurrier’s inability to match his Florida success at South Carolina. “I don’t know if he’s had the quarterback he wants yet,” Bowden said. “He hadn’t had a [Danny] Wuerffel. I don’t think he has. From what I’ve seen, he hasn’t been completely satisfied with what he’s playing [at quarterback]. I see him bouncing around a lot. I’m going to tell you what he’s going to do. One of these days, he’s going to get that guy under center and he’s going to get that one great [receiver] out there and it’s going to happen. He’s as good at that as anyone I know. Give him one great quarterback and one great receiver, and let him work out an offense.”

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post #19 of 57 (permalink) Old August 17th, 2009, 11:59 Thread Starter
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Florida St.: Ponder Impressive in Scrimmage

RotoWire.com Staff - RotoWire.com

Update: Ponder completed 15-of-20 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns in the team’s scrimmage on Saturday, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Recommendation: Ponder put up some impressive stats on Saturday, but keep in mind that his effort did come against the second-team defense. Regardless, Ponder has developed a nice connection with his receivers that should help the Florida State offense get off to a good start in the regular season.

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post #20 of 57 (permalink) Old August 17th, 2009, 12:00 Thread Starter
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I hope that in their first game they dont connect too often !!! :dielaugh:

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