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Bowden continues to confirm he was canned by FSU

When Florida State issued a press release Nov. 30 announcing that the Gator Bowl would be Bobby Bowden‘s last game as a head coach, it was widely assumed that the move was the result of a forced resignation or outright firing rather than voluntary retirement.

Bowden confirmed as much three weeks later; on the same day that his book Called to Coach is released, Bowden is reiterating in his strongest terms yet that he was fired by the university.

Speaking to Matt Hayes of the Sporting News, Bowden claimed that then-president T.K. Wetherell reneged on an agreement that would’ve allowed him to coach through the 2010 season and was, in essence, fired after the November loss to Florida.  The day after that loss, Wetherell met with Bowden and gave the legendary coach a pair of options that weren’t really much of a choice at all.

“First thing he says is, ‘This ain’t gonna be pretty.’ It went downhill from there,” Bowden said in an interview that will appear in the next issue of Sporting News. “Those were his first words; I couldn’t believe it.

“He said, ‘You have two options: One is to stay on as an ambassador coach for one more year. You can still be the coach, but we don’t want you to go on the field.’ I’d get paid for doing nothing. That’s stealing from FSU. I said, ‘That’s out, forget it. What’s the other option?’ He said, ‘We don’t renew your contract.'”

Some would say that, for the past few years, Bowden was nothing more than a figurehead as coach anyway.  That may very well have been the case, but, for all that Bowden did for that football program, to build it into one of the premier programs in the country, he deserved a little more respect at the end than he got.

There’s plenty of blame to go around for how this entire, sad situation played out — and how it’s still continuing to play out nine months later — including Bowden for not realizing years ago that perhaps he should take his leave.  As the Seminoles patriarch, though, a lot more class in dealing with the living legend was not only deserved but should’ve been demanded by many of the individuals involved.

Although some would have you believe it, this was not akin to putting down a favorite dog; too bad some connected to the university treated Bowden far worse, like he was some stray off the street.

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15 Responses to “Bowden continues to confirm he was canned by FSU”
  1. Gatorfan1 says: Aug 24, 2010 11:14 AM

    @kls05v:
    Real classy school you went to!!! Let’s hear your ridiculous diatribe now.
    Pa they killed ole’ yeller…that’s exactly how he was treated…puttin down the favorite dog….YOU must be so proud….LMFAO…tool

  2. Mizzou1839 says: Aug 24, 2010 11:27 AM

    I’m still sore about the way this went down. Coach Bowden should have been allowed to coach the 2010 season as had been agreed upon. He more than earned it.

  3. Cubano says: Aug 24, 2010 12:16 PM

    This just goes to show you how classy Penn State is. Joe Pa died like 10 years ago, and they still let his corpse roam the sidelines.
    Yeah, I know. I’m a heartless bastard!

  4. Dbuck says: Aug 24, 2010 12:22 PM

    Bowden’s presence was dragging the team down faster each year. The in-fighting between coaches was substantial because of Bowden’s absent leadership. This lack of leadership trickled down to the players as well. They’d listen to some coaches and ignore others because there was no central voice. I didn’t need Bowden calling the plays, but when coaches with different self-serving agendas butt heads, someone has to squash it.
    The nepotism displayed by hiring and keeping his worthless son at OC made many of us Seminole fans bitter. That was the first straw, and this was back in 2001.
    He was noticeably absent from the recruiting trail as well. You can’t compete in the state of FL in recruiting when Urban Meyer is having dinner with your potential recruits and Bobby is just making phone calls and couldn’t even remember the kid’s names.
    I’m an FSU grad and I’ve been a fan since I could walk. I love Bowden more than anything, but we stayed quiet out of respect for 7 years watching our program decline. Its unfortunate that things got so ugly, but this has been quietly building this entire decade.
    I wish he could have stayed on till his heart’s desire, but he was no longer committed to doing the job he created.

  5. Gatorfan1 says: Aug 24, 2010 12:46 PM

    Dbuck: Stayed quiet for 7 years my ass!! How did the whole coach-in-waiting disaster start.
    Oh I know, because the so called loyal “Seminole Nation” family was about to scalp (pun intended) it’s chief.
    No matter how you spin it your a bunch of sorry ass fans who ran Bowden off.
    Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if you end up 7-5 or 8-4 this season. The same record Bowden would have had his last year.
    For us Gator fans we could care less, we’re gonna kick Fisher butt just as much!! It’s just great seeing all the bad publicity your school’s getting for such a boneheaded blunder.
    Nice timing for his book too, wonder if it will hurt recruiting if the Noles only have a so so year.
    Couldn’t happen to a nicer group of fans. Another decade of futility coming right up!!!

  6. SPARTAISTHEWAY says: Aug 24, 2010 12:59 PM

    FSU waited a long time for Coach Bowden to return to his winning days, but he could not make it back to the winning days. How long are you supposed to give a person to win?! 2002 is a long time ago and if he was in the BIG 10, SEC, BIG 12, PAC 10, he would have been gone a long time ago! They do not care if you have 369 victories or championships under your belt, it is,”what are you going to do for the team this year?” It can only go on for so long! People expect a coach to put up 10 + victories a year and beat the in state rival or they will want his head. Look at Bill Curry or Mike Shula (except his lasT year) The expectations are so much different today as compared to 20 years ago when coaches were granted their due diligence!
    Enjoy this year as it should be a good one, people!
    ROLL TIDE ROLL as we will dominate again looking for NUMBER 14!

  7. Dbuck says: Aug 24, 2010 2:23 PM

    And yet another unbiased, educated, and rational comment from a typical gator fan.

  8. blitz4848 says: Aug 24, 2010 3:49 PM

    Dag gummit……why should I be upset?
    My record at FSU was 302-85 a 77% win pctg.
    We won 2 NCAA championships and produced 2 Heisman winners.
    Home record last 130 home games 116-13-1
    That surely pissed off all the alums in attendance
    Set all time NCAA record of 14 consecutive Top 5 finishes–not tooo shabby!
    Our #1 rivalry is UF. We were 1-16 against them before I arrived. My record against UF was 17-18
    We went to a bowl 30 of my 34 yrs and were
    21-9–that’s a dag gum good bowl record.
    We could have ended this with a little more class and dignity—hell the damn field has my name on it!!
    No way I should be bitter……..Ya think?

  9. steelers rule says: Aug 24, 2010 3:57 PM

    Do you want another tissue Satan Bowden? You were afraid to join the SEC because you wanted to play cupcakes in ACC like Duke, UNC, NC State and Maryland yearly! How many players got in trouble when he was there? Remember Fottlocker University? Bowden is nothing more than a sour puss who could not hold Joe Paterno’s jock!

  10. FratBoyXXX says: Aug 24, 2010 4:47 PM

    Dbuck pretty much hit the nail on the head.
    I’ve been a Noles fan since I was in grade school, and as much as I hate to say it, it was time for Bobby to go. The run that his teams produced from 1987-2000 is almost unheard of in today’s day and age, and may never be produced again. After the 2000 season when the OC Mark Richt left to take the job at Georgia, Bowden put his son Jeff in charge of the offense. From there both the offense and the rest of the team proceeded to downward spiral from a yearly
    Top 5 team, to barely a Top 25 team. Something needed to be done, and it needed to be done quickly.
    Overall, I think the team should win about 8 or 9 games this season, and I think they’ll be much improved from last season. Give Fisher another year or two to recruit some better players and I Guarantee you that this team will be back in the Top 10 in no time.
    To all the Gator fans out there, yeah yeah, I know you’ve been beating us since 2004, I hear it from my brother-in-law every year around Thanksgiving. But what goes around comes around; your streak is coming to an end very soon, and we’ll be whooping your ass like a
    red-headed stepchild.
    GO NOLES!!!

  11. Finfan says: Aug 24, 2010 5:31 PM

    The FSU single season arrest record (& Miami Hurricanes) was surpassed by the Gators last year. Nice group!
    Bring on the thugs & killers we want to win at any cost- Urban

  12. gator_prof says: Aug 24, 2010 5:51 PM

    Bobby deserved better, period.
    FSU was NOTHING before him. He build the program.
    Yes, Bobby made mistakes, everyone does. Hiring his son was a big problem. Keeping Rix as the starter was a bigger problem. Ditto for Andrews, who failed to adapt his D.
    You should have humored the old man for a few more seasons and let him ride off into the sunset on his own terms.
    The thing that I don’t understand from the Nole nation is the following paradox: Bobby was just a “figure head’ meaning that he had little control over the program, yet he was dragging the program down.
    I don’t get it.
    We will see how Jimbo does from here on out. The facts do state the following:
    1) Despite the quip about lack of talent via recruiting, Rivals had FSU recruiting classes ranked as follows:
    2003: 21
    2004: 4
    2005: 2
    2006: 3
    2007: 21
    2008: 9
    2009: 7
    2) Jimbo the genius was OC from 07 -10. As you can see, there was talent on the roster. Why didn’t he have a larger impact? Was Bobby calling the game?
    My prediction is that under Jimbo, FSU will continue to decline. It is tough to replace a legend, even a declining legend.

  13. Bradenton Buc says: Aug 24, 2010 5:59 PM

    Should have gotten rid of him 3 years ago. Probably would not have slid so far if they had. At least Paterno wins.

  14. interested says: Aug 24, 2010 9:25 PM

    I am still puzzled by the fans that feel Jeff Bowden was the problem. I don’t know if he was or not, just as you don’t. What I do know is that by most objective statistical measures, Jeff Bowdens offenses outproduced Jimbo Fishers over the same time period. If the litmus test for Bowden was beating Florida, then all I can say is that Richt, Joker Phillips, Steve Spurrier and a bunch of other coaches better start making moving arrangements. Bowden is the only FSU coach in history who was competitive against Florida. I agree that FSU was in some turmoil the last several years but I lay alot of that blame also at the adminsitrations feet. What a dumb idea, coach in waiting and not only that but with a limited time period. Does the FSU administration really feel that if they didn’t keep Jimbo Fisher that when Bobby retired they wouldnt have been able to attract a top tier group of candidates?

  15. Bobby Bowden to return to Doak Campbell for opener | CollegeFootballTalk says: Mar 8, 2012 1:38 PM

    […] course, how Bowden was dumped and the very critical and unwarranted comments that led up to said dumping likely played a role in […]

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