NCAA Upholds Ruling; Bobby Bowden, Florida State To Vacate Wins

bobby_bowdenBobby Bowden finished his illustrious career last week with a convincing win in the Gator Bowl over West Virginia 33-21.  He finished with 389 victories in his 57-year coaching career, 34 of which were spent at Florida State.  This week however, he could be as many as 14-wins lighter.

Stemming from the academic cheating scandal which took place at Florida State, the NCAA Division I Infraction Appeals Committee has decided to uphold the original decision set forth by the Rules Committee.

“The cooperative efforts of the university clearly did not outweigh the aggravating factors in this case — the nature, number, scope and seriousness of the violations,” the NCAA committee released in a statement early on Tuesday.

Back in March of 2008, the committee released findings that included incidents of “academic fraud” by more than 60 student-athletes in 10 collegiate sports at FSU.

According to the NCAA as well as Florida State, the sports involved in the incident were “football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s track, baseball, softball and men’s golf.”

Three academic tutors for student-athletes were found to be using unethical practices that violated the academic integrity of the University and NCAA.  It was found that they gave help to the student-athletes who were taking an online course and typed papers for them, as well as other shady practices.

According to the NCAA the penalties for the violations are:

“Four years of probation, scholarship reductions, vacation of records and show cause penalties for the former staff members.”

Florida State had originally penalized themselves, that included scholarship losses and suspensions of student-athletes.  Every student found to be involved in the scandal was penalized 30% of their respective season.  However, when the NCAA went after more sanctions and wanted to strip wins from Bowden,  University President T.K Wetherell filed appeals.

CBSSports.com wire reports, “Florida State still must certify which games ineligible players competed to determine the number of wins and individual records that will be nullified.”

One thing that remains certain, no one will ever take away Bowden’s final win at Florida State, a triumphant 33 to 21 victory over West Viriginia. In that game, oddsmakers for NCAA Football Sportsbooks had listed the Seminoles as decided underdogs.

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