NCAA intends to uphold penalties against Seminoles

Published 1:00 am Friday, June 19, 2009

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The NCAA infractions committee intends to uphold sanctions against Florida State that would take away wins in 10 sports, including as many as 14 by football coach Bobby Bowden.

After a public records lawsuit and intervention by Florida’s attorney general, the NCAA allowed Florida State to release the committee’s June 2 response to FSU’s appeal of the NCAA punishment that would strip the school of the victories.

Though university officials had said earlier Thursday that there would be no comment from Florida State, president T.K. Wetherell denounced the NCAA’s response.

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‘‘This committee is just wrong,’’ Wetherell said. ‘‘The rationale for doing that isn’t accurate.’’

Wetherell, a former Seminole football player, said the school would exhaust all appeal opportunities with the NCAA ‘‘before going anywhere else.’’

If the penalty sticks, Bowden would have little chance to stay abreast of Penn State’s Joe Paterno in their competition to finish as major college football’s winningest coach. Paterno begins the 2009 season with 383 wins, right now that is one more than Bowden has entering his 34th season at Florida State.

‘‘There was no coach involved in this,’’ Wetherell said. ‘‘The one group of people that were not involved in this thing were the coaches. They’re the one group that’s being penalized.’’

Bowden, who was back in his Birmingham, Ala., hometown for a week of golfing with childhood buddies, was also mystified by the NCAA’s response.

‘‘Joe, who I love to death, he and I got a battle that neither one of us thought would ever happen,’’ Bowden told WBRC-TV in Birmingham after a round of golf Thursday. ‘‘Joe would not want to win this thing the way they (NCAA) are doing this.’’