Learn a Lesson, Lose the Wins
There was no grace in defeat. Florida State president
There may never be a final score between JoePa and Bobby. (Both men fear the
"I think they tried to kill a flea with a hammer," Bowden said on March 18 but assured everyone that "this thang ain't about me." Wetherell also claimed his outrage was about "a bigger issue" than the coach. In Bowden-speak, that's just dadgum crazy talk. No one is grander than Bowden in Tallahassee, where I lived through the Before and the After. Pre--Bowden's arrival: I sat with 19,000 other bell-bottom-wearing fans in an erector-set stadium on a campus best known as
In his fight against the NCAA, Wetherell is using the passion of the Bowden faithful, which includes Gov.
"Florida has been very hard hit by the mortgage crisis and recession -- surely that impacts on the state funding that FSU receives for education," says
Florida State self-reported the violations of 61 athletes (including a reported 23 football players) who couldn't name that tune for an online music course without the crib sheets supplied by employees in the Athletic Academic Support Services office. But blowing the whistle on yourself doesn't buy as much nobility -- and leniency with the NCAA -- as it once did. "Cooperation is expected now," says
Wetherell acted surprised, though. He said the penalty "affected over 500 athletes [who] had nothing to do with this" and also "affected coaches who had nothing to do with it." He didn't get the connection: Academic fraud has everything to do with wins and losses. "The whole point about athletes cheating academically is that it destroys the level academic playing field," Sperber says. "Other students might try to cheat but they don't receive institutional help. ... Cheating incidents like [this] make regular students very cynical, and college sports, rather than bring about a sense of community as the NCAA wants us to believe, often breeds cynicism in the student body."
The university has been shamed by the football team's Foot Locker scandal in 1993, quarterback