Vacating victories from a team or coach has always been a silly punishment handed down by the NCAA. You simply cannot just erase history, although you can rewrite it. Wins either happen or they do not. They do not vanish from thin air, as the NCAA would like for you to believe. Rarely does the NCAA hand vacated victories back, but that is just what it did last week. The NCAA restored 112 victories stripped from Penn State, 111 of which belonged to former head coach Joe Paterno.
Now Bobby Bowden wants his 12 wins back too.
“I’m all for Joe getting his hundred wins back and me getting my 12 back,” Bowden said to Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi on Monday.
“It always felt like there should be asterisk beside it,” Bowden said, regarding his former title as major college football’s all-time wins leader after Paterno had 111 victories vacated by the NCAA. Bowden, a friend of Paterno for years, has been on record saying he never wanted that title the way it happened. “When I would give a speech and be introduced as the all-time winningest coach, it never felt right to me.”
Now Bowden just wants the record to reflect his true record, which would include 388 all-time wins. Bowden would still be ranked second all-time in major college football coaching victories, but at least the record books would be legitimate.