October 07, 2009
The unfolding drama out of Tallahassee since Saturday's loss to Boston College -- impatient trustees, indignant spouses, rumors of contentious meetings, at least one ghoulish movement led by fans at the end of their rope and the general sense that Bobby Bowden was only hours away from barricading himself in his office in full-fledged "last days of Dick Nixon" mode -- left him no other choice, Florida State president (and former Bowden player) T.K. Wetherell made it very clear in an otherwise vague statement this morning: Bowden's not going anywhere this season.
I know all of our fans, friends, supporters and alumni will accord the coaching staff and our young student-athletes all the support, encouragement and respect they deserve. I will respect the process. FSU does not make coaching changes in the middle of the season. We are going to win games and build character. We ask our coaches and players to play out every play of evey game -- and never, never quit. ...
I have spoken with numerous fans, alumni, Boosters, supporters and staff, and I will make a final report to the full Board of Trustees at the end of the year. ... Neither the university nor I will have further comment on this matter until then.
This is as expected -- not even the people publicly calling for a golden parachute wanted Bowden's head in the middle of the season -- but it won't quiet any of the speculation about the official ceding of hands-on authority to offensive coordinator/coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher, or how Bowden's possible obstinacy may throw a wrench in transition plans if he's asked to leave on any terms other than his own this winter. It's certainly not hard to read "we're not going to talk about this until the end of the year" as "we're going to go ahead and push him out then."
But that gives Bobby two months to earn a little leverage by overcoming probably the worst start in his 34-year tenure at FSU and making a run at the long lost ACC championship. His prospects don't look good, but for a stunning title run that no one saw coming, at least he's in the right division in the right league for it.