TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The battle of words between the NCAA and Florida State University President T.K. Wetherell escalated Wednesday over sanctions the school must face for an academic cheating case.
In an unusual move, the NCAA issued a statement saying that Wetherell's claim of having an agreement with the NCAA on keeping student-athletes out of 30 percent of the next year's games "not true."
The NCAA rarely comments on any pending case.
Florida State is appealing the part of its penalty that would force the school to forfeit records in 10 sports, including two seasons of football. Such a sanction could take away as many as 14 wins from coach Bobby Bowden, who is the second most winning coach in major college football history.
But the NCAA says the school's punishment of losing its wins is decided by a separate body, the Committee on Infractions. It's separate from the process of re-establishing eligibility for the athletes involved.
"At no time was an agreement on university penalties discussed with the institution in this case or any other case," the NCAA statement read. "President Wetherell's statements confuse the process for administering institutional penalties with the process for re-establishing student-athlete eligibility."
Wetherell said he'll provide documentation of an understanding he had with the NCAA on the penalties when they meet Nov. 15 at the NCAA's Indianapolis headquarters.
"Decisions on school sanctions are not made by NCAA staff and are not negotiated," the NCAA said.
Wetherell accused the NCAA of "bait-and-switch" on what he saw as an agreement on suspending athletes for 30 percent of the games on their schedule after the academic misconduct was reported by the university.
"We had an understanding that if we did everything as they said, all player eligibility matters would be resolved," said Wetherell, who is leaving as president as soon as a replacement can be found.
The NCAA responded: "FSU was repeatedly reminded that the student-athlete reinstatement process was not connected in any way to penalties that may be assessed."
Wetherell and the NCAA have had a strained relationship over the years. The NCAA was forced to back off its attempt to force the school to replace its "Seminoles" nickname in an earlier standoff with the outspoken president, a former football player at the school.
The NCAA in March took away scholarships in 10 sports and put Florida State on four years probation as part of the punishment for 61 athletes who took a music history class where test answers were provided and other prohibited help was received.
The NCAA is also appealing a circuit court decision that ordered it to comply with Florida's public records laws by making public correspondence on the academic cheating case.