Enough is enough.
Enough with the Bowden bashing. Enough with the ugly public comments.
Let Bobby Bowden finish this season out in peace.
Everyone else needs to take a deep breath, step back and relax.
It is plain to see FSU has serious problems. There is no denying that changes must be made for the program to start moving forward again.
But what is completely unacceptable is the way Bowden has been treated over the last several days. Jim Smith, chairman of the FSU Board of Trustees, began a media firestorm when he said “enough is enough” with the Bowden era after the Seminoles dropped to 2-3.
Those comments should never have been made publicly because they serve no good purpose. But Smith kept running his mouth. In another interview Tuesday, he disgustingly compared getting rid of Bowden to putting down your favorite dog. “You know it’s the right thing to do but you sure feel bad about it,” he told the St. Petersburg Times.
If Smith felt really bad, he would have kept his crass comments to himself. Or at least he would have shown the same class Bowden has shown throughout his tenure at FSU and given a more diplomatic answer.
But no, Smith had to ratchet up the rhetoric, making an increasingly uncomfortable situation untenable.
Bowden deserves his share of the blame for what has happened with the Seminoles, but so does the school. When it put this succession plan in place, it allowed Bowden to decide when he would retire. The only timetable in place was that Jimbo Fisher would be owed $5 million if he wasn’t coach by January 2011.
While the school was trying to do the admirable thing then, it has gotten itself into an impossible situation now.
That has led to the backstabbing comments from Smith and the continued insults from Seminoles fans.
I ask these people: What would your school be without Bowden? There would be no national championships. There would be no Heisman Trophy winners. There would be no 82,300-seat Doak Campbell Stadium.
In fact, your school would be known more for its excellent drama department than for its football team.
“The people who are trying to get their quotes in the paper and act like they have the best interest of Florida State in mind should be ashamed of themselves,” CBS college football analyst Gary Danielson said. “I’m aghast at what’s wrong with people nowadays.”
Bowden himself has been through this type of turmoil. As head coach at West Virginia in 1974, he was hung in effigy. Across from his office, a sheet that read “Bye-Bye Bobby” hung outside a dorm window.
“If I was 40 years old, I would be shaking in my boots. But I’m 79. I’ve been through it,” Bowden said Wednesday. “The only thing I’d be concerned about it is — does it distract the team? I don’t get that talking to my kids. I tell them what to listen to and what not to.”
Bowden is one of the greatest football coaches of all time.
He is Florida State.
Surely he has earned the right to finish his career in a dignified manner, without pitchforks and angry mobs running him out of town.