Monday, July 23, 2012
Bowden's son calls record 'insignificant'
By David M. Hale
With the sanctions levied against Penn State's football program Monday, former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden now owns the record for most wins in FBS history.
It's an honor his son, former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, said will be forever overshadowed by the circumstances in which Bobby Bowden overtook Joe Paterno in the record books.
"His record speaks for itself, and it's my father so you'd like to be happy for him," Tommy Bowden said. "But under the circumstances, it pales in comparison to how significant those problems are and the lives that have been affected."
Paterno, the longtime Penn State head coach, had 111 wins dating back to 1998 vacated from his record as part of the NCAA's sanctions announced Monday, which also included $60 million in fines, a four-year bowl ban and a loss of scholarships in light of the Jerry Sandusky sexual assault case.
That leaves Paterno with an official win tally of 298, well behind Bobby Bowden's official career tally of 377.
Of course, Bowden's actual record on the field included 12 additional wins that were also vacated due to an academic fraud investigation surrounding several FSU players in 2009.
"Even though he did not know about his (infractions), he was the head coach and, as the head coach, you're held responsible," Tommy Bowden said of his father's vacated wins. "The NCAA merited a just discipline for that infraction, and with Penn State they did the same thing."
Bowden said he believed the NCAA's sanctions against Penn State were fair, but he said it was important not to view the wins record as a victory for his father.
"It's such an insignificant thing," Bowden said. "You have to put it in context."