Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno had an ongoing rivalry to see who could outlast the other to top the leaderboard for most wins in a coaching career. Bowden was forced out as head coach of Florida State in 2009 after the Seminoles became a mediocre team. Paterno refused to step down as coach at Penn State, allowing him to surpass Bowden.
In light of being peers and competitors, Bowden has been speaking about the Penn State scandal and has offered some harsh criticism of Paterno’s legacy. He told several radio programs, including Tom Krasniqi of WDAE, that Paterno’s statue should be removed from Penn State.
“If I was Joe Paterno’s family, I would want it taken down,” Bowden told Krasniqi. “Every time they play a game in that stadium, the cameras are going to flash down on that statue of Joe, and it’s going to bring up again this thing with Sandusky. To me, Penn State needs to get that behind them somehow. They gotta pay for the sins — that’s going to cost them a whole lot of money — but every time they see that statue, they’re going to bring that up. I’d hate for his family to have to go through that the rest of their lives.”
His characterization of Paterno’s legacy was equally harsh.