Wednesday's question of the day: Has Bobby Bowden overstayed his welcome at Florida State?
Does Florida State owe it to Bobby Bowden to let him go out on his own terms or has he overstayed his welcome? Reporters from the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.
Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times
After 34 seasons at Florida State, a one-time women's college at which Lee Corso once toiled at quarterback, Bobby Bowden has earned the right to be fired on his own terms. Has Bowden, who turns 80 in November, over-extended his stay? Probably. Why? He fears he'll end up like his idol, Bear Bryant, who died shortly after he called it quits. But there is no sentiment for 2-3, and unless Florida State turns it around, Bowden should probably quit. Does Florida State owe him a proper exit? Florida State owes Bowden the earth, moon, the stadium and the stars. Bowden, though, should be nudged, coaxed and arm-twisted into convincing himself 80 is the nice, round number on which to depart.The hard part will be making sure he thinks it was his idea all along.
Dave Fairbank, Newport News Daily Press
Yes, Bowden has remained too long. Yes, he deserves to call his own exit strategy. Few merit that kind of consideration, but 384 wins earn him that privilege. Sure, the program has slipped. It practically had to. Florida State wouldn’t be the kind of place where they call for the coach’s head if he loses several games a year if not for Bowden. A month shy of his 80th birthday, critics talk about not letting Gramps handle the TV remote, never mind run a major college football program. But when Bowden walks, forced or voluntarily, does Jimbo Fisher clean house and the program magically return to 11- and 12-win seasons and top-five rankings? Unlikely. We’re all put out to pasture eventually. Great achievers deserve a graceful trip. If the program is indeed larger than one person, endure the temporary anguish and honor the wishes of the man who made it that way.
Andrea Adelson, Orlando Sentinel
Florida State is in a bad spot. There is no denying that. Changes must be made for the program to start moving forward again.
But coach Bobby Bowden deserves to be treated with respect -- not the way he 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.
Bowden deserves blame for what has happened at Florida State, but the school shares in the blame, too. It allowed him to set the timetable for his retirement. That was the plan everyone agreed on, so that is the plan everyone should follow. Bowden has earned that right.