The long-awaited penalties are in, and the gnashing of teeth can begin. The Seminoles got hammered, headlines proclaim. The NCAA rocks FSU, pundits say. And the loudest wails of all: What about Bobby Bowden’s record?
The whines might be appropriate, except, of course, for the fact that … it’s not true.
The NCAA did not “hammer” Florida State for widespread academic fraud by athletes. It smacked them on the wrist, sent them to the corner and docked Bowden’s record (which I predict is going to get reversed on appeal just as Oklahoma’s records were returned in the great Rhett Bomar scandal).
Take a closer look at the report and you will see the NCAA used a bunch of stern language, tossing around scary words like “egregious.” It did a bunch of finger-wagging and shaming. It self-righteously talked down at FSU as only the pointy heads from the NCAA can do.