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Bobby Bowden: Joe Paterno statue should be removed

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.

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Bobby Bowden, Howard Schnellenberger May Coach ‘Battle of Florida’ All-Star Game

Bobby Bowden has not coached since being let go by Florida State in January, 2010 and Howard Schnellenberger announced this will be his last season as head coach at Florida Atlantic. Even though both men will be out of coaching as of January, it looks like they may oppose each other in a collegiate all-star game.

Owl Access says a “Battle of Florida” game is being planned for January 21st, 2012 at FAU’s stadium. They say Bowden has agreed to coach the north Florida team while Schnellenberger is expected to coach the south Florida team.

What adds intrigue to the matchup is that Schnellenberger coached Miami from 1979-1983 and laid the foundation for the powerhouse it became. Schnellenberger was 3-2 head-to-head vs. Bowden in the five years the schools met. Best part about this planned game is that it reportedly may be televised nationally. Count me in.

Bobby Bowden: Impossible to Run Clean Program Because of NCAA Rules

Jim Tressel resigned as head coach at Ohio State last week amidst a merchandise-for-tattoos and weed scandal engulfing the program. Worst of all, Tressel lied to his university and the NCAA about the problems, covering up for his players. The NCAA reportedly is targeting North Carolina next, and their recent targets have also included USC and Auburn. It almost seems like the list of programs in the clear is shorter than the ones accused of violations. According to former long-time Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden, part of the problem is that the NCAA has too many rules.

When asked by the radio show Chuck and Vince Live if it was possible to run a clean program, he said “No. And by that, I don’t mean that some coaches purposely try to break the rules.”

Bowden said there are so many rules it’s hard not to break them. He also explained that you can have a coach and program that is clean and all it takes is one dishonest player that hurt the whole program.

While his words seem sympathetic, it’s not entirely accurate.

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Bobby Bowden Confused at Halftime: It’s Like We Don’t Know Who to Tackle

Florida State led Georgia Tech at halftime Saturday night, 35-28, and Christian Ponder was almost flawless at that point. He was 18-21 for 267 yards and he had thrown for 4 touchdowns, but that didn’t leave Bobby Bowden with a smile on his face. Instead, he was too worried about the four touchdowns Georgia Tech had posted against them, all on the ground. That left the 79-year-old Bowden pretty befuddled during his halftime interview. Check it out and be ready to laugh:

Later after the game, Bowden lamented the team’s inability to stop the daggum wishbone. Poor guy. I still say you have to let him keep coaching until he doesn’t want to. This is his program and all the pride the fanbase and trustees have is thanks to him. He’ll die within 12 months if they fire his ass. Now who would want that to happen?

Darnell Dockett, Deion Sanders Come to Bobby Bowden’s Defense

bobby-bowdenAngered over a 2-3 start to the season, Florida State trustees have been trying to get Bobby Bowden to step down after the season and let Jimbo Fisher take over the program. Bowden famously said that there’s only one big event after retirement and he’s not looking forward to it. The trustees meanwhile are angling to push Bobby to the grave and stick the nail in the coffin because they feel the program has been declining. Even if the program isn’t where everyone wants it to be, many of Bobby’s former players have come to his defense. Check out what Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said:

How are yall gonna try to fire BOWDEN WTF! All that he has done for that program it wouldn’t be a FSU with out bowden

If they fire bowden, yall should see the next time somebody ask me what college I went to I’m gonna say PAINT BRANC HIGH SCHOOL university

If they fire bowden I will make sure no FSU alumni go back to visit EVER, no donations- NOTHIING- disloyal ass chairman I’m pissed now

He also added that Penn State never did the same thing with Joe Paterno and that a lot of this is up to the players, not the coaches. Even with some 7-6 seasons the past few years, the problem to me is that FSU hasn’t had a good quarterback develop for a while. Consider they had about four years with Chris Rix who never really panned out, and then they had mistakes like Adrian McPherson, Wyatt Sexton, and Xavier Lee after that. And even with Penn State riding high the past few years, remember that they had four losing seasons in five years between ’00 and ’05 including a 3-9 and 4-7 season. Florida State might not be where everyone wants it to be, but they haven’t missed a bowl game in forever and they’re a few players away from being back full-force.

Deion Sanders also had some powerful words, suggesting that the trustees and Florida State wouldn’t be anything without Bobby Bowden and that they shouldn’t bury him while he’s alive. I agree. I feel for Bobby because it’s clear the guy doesn’t want to stop doing what he’s doing. It’s not as if he runs everything there so why take him out to the pasture to shoot him when he still wants to be active? Are they going to be that much better without him around? I doubt it.

Bobby Bowden Wants to Use His Junior College Wins

I’m really struggling with this story. Ordinarily when a team is forced to vacate past accomplishments, I look at that as a wrist-slap, nothing penalty because you can’t really undo games that a team won. For Florida State coach Bobby Bowden however, that seems like the absolute worst thing you could do to the man. Facing the thought of vacating 14 wins because of an academic cheating scandal, Bowden’s getting creative:

Meanwhile, Bobby is hatching one final trick play. This one involves digging up what he says are 22 victories earned while he was coach at South Georgia Junior College from 1956-58. Asterisk that, NCAA.

“I’ve got to get put in the grave here one of these days … ” Bowden said. “It don’t count to them. It does to me.”

Like I said, I’m having a tough time interpreting this. Is it pathetic that Bowden is digging this deep just because of a numbers game? Is it worse that Joe Paterno’s Penn State team full of criminals haven’t cost him any wins but an academic scandal cost Bobby? Is Bowden and Paterno’s game of career wins chicken a childish, egotistical battle that’s holding back both schools or is it a symbol of loyalty, longevity, hard work, and accomplishment? I think it’s some combination of everything I mentioned. Maybe the best thing would be to have the wins vacated just so their stupid game could come to an end. I highly doubt either one is doing much coaching these days anyway.

Great Story: Terry Bowden and Bobby Bowden Fought Over Recruits

I’m a big sucker for great anecdotes, and this would not be an exception. Joining Roc and Manuch on Sporting News Radio Sunday was former Auburn head coach and current college football analyst, Terry Bowden. Terry was breaking down the recruiting scene in light of the recent national signing day. He was asked to share his favorite recruiting story, one that would properly delineate the intense level of competition between the coaches. His anecdote was priceless:

Recruiting against my father in 1994, the No. 1 player in the state of Florida was a kid named Martavius Houston — he was a great player for me at Auburn. He had narrowed his decision down to Florida State and Auburn. That last week I was able to make my one official home visit and the last night possible, I go in there at 6pm. And I’m walking out at 7:30, and a stretch limousine pulled up in front of the house. I had a town car and thought I was fancy. A stretch limousine pulled up in front, driver lets out my old man. He walks up to the front porch, he says hello to momma, he shakes the boy’s hand, and he pats me on the head and he said ‘Terry, when you get home, your momma wants you to call.’ That was all he said! That’s dirty recruiting right there; that tells you how ugly it is.

Great story. Turns out Houston went to Auburn and had a good career there, though he didn’t do anything in the NFL. I also came to find that Terry wrote about this same story for the first time in print a few days ago at Yahoo! Sports in case you want to see a full version of it. Great, great, story. Gotta love Bobby — he’s always struck me as the type to get the perfect zinger. He would make George Costanza jealous.

Personal Sidenote: If Bobby Bowden were to ever sit in my living room and recruit me, my answer would be an unequivocal “yes.” I don’t care if he were pitching me to jump out of a plane in hopes of saving a manatee — that dude’s a legend. I’d run through cement walls for his ass.