Florida State’s football team is on the road to a lackluster season. Last Saturday’s devastating loss to Boston College has left some faithful Seminole fans questioning the effectiveness of Bowden and his coaching staff. The more prominent of these is FSU Board of Trustee member Jim Smith. Smith has called for the legendary coach’s retirement at the end of the season, and is asking proposing offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher be his replacement.
On Sunday, Smith expressed his views on the state of his alma maters’ football program with the Tallahassee Democrat.
“I do appreciate what he’s done for us, what he’s done for the program, what’s he done really for the state of Florida. But I think the record will show that the Seminole Nation has been more than patient. We have been in a decline not for a year or two or three but I think we’re coming up on seven or eight. I think enough is enough,” Smith said.
Bowden came to FSU in 1976, inheriting a team that lacked consistency. In the three seasons prior to Bowden’s arrival (1973-75), the Seminoles had won a mere 4 games. Over 30 years later, the Seminoles have become a household name in the college football realm, boasting an average 70,000 plus crowd at every home game.
The school is ranked 15th for total revenue among school merchandise sales, according to the Collegiate Licensing Company, and they’ve constructed state of the art facilities that gave way to a more well-rounded athletic program.
There’s no doubt that Bowden has been implemental in FSU’s rags to riches story, which has earned him the overwhelming support from the Seminole Nation. Under Coach Bowden, the Seminoles have racked up 281 wins, 12 conference championships, 29 bowl appearances, two national championships and they have had over 150 players drafted by the NFL.
So after all the fanfare and glory, why do die-hard Seminole fans doubt Coach Bowden’s prowess on the gridiron? It’s quite simple. This newly organized anti-Bowden campaign is based solely on his age.
Some believe that since Bowden is in his 34th season he might consider giving it a rest. In response to the scrutiny, Coach Bowden told the Tallahassee Democrat, “…When the season’s over, I’ll let them know if I want to come back.”
His decision to retire when he is ready should be respected, considering how committed Coach Bowden has been to the school. It’s true that he is getting old. But age shouldn’t be a factor in determining the fate of his career. After 33 years as head coach, and his own bank of accolades, Coach Bowden shouldn’t be ousted from his position because of one bad season. Bowden’s loyalty to FSU has proved that he is worth all the hype that has surrounded the program since 1985.
True enough college football isn’t a business of loyalty, but one based on results, as we have seen with other coaches, whose teams didn’t live up to the standards of their administrations and fans (i.e. Larry Coker and the 2006 Miami Hurricanes).
The comments such as those made by Jim Brown should be censored since they don’t garner with the entire Seminole fan-base.
Jason Lawrence is a junior political science student from Tallahassee. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.