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Bobby Bowden refused Barney Fife role at Florida State

For Bobby Bowden, it was like being presented a choice to become Barney Fife.

The options from Florida State president T.K. Wetherell were to be an "ambassador-coach" who didn't actually coach or see his contract not renewed.

"The ambassador-coach was something below my dignity," Bowden, who chose to bow out after the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl, said Thursday. "It reminded me of Barney Fife. They gave him a gun, but they won't let him put the bullet in there. That's the way it was. It's all over now."

Bowden, 80, said Wetherell prefaced their meeting at season's end with, "This ain't going to be pretty." Although Bowden had made it clear he wanted one more season, Wetherell outlined what the former Seminoles football coach described as a no-win choice.

"No. 1, I could stay on as an ambassador-head coach but never go on the field. Maybe at the game I could stand on the sideline, but I couldn't go out and coach," Bowden said. "My other alternative was, 'We're not going to renew your contract.' That's it."

Bowden's comments were the first time he recounted what happened at the meeting and came in response to Wetherell saying in an interview with the Lakeland Ledger newspaper that Bowden wasn't forced out.

Taunting could cost teams touchdowns

The NCAA Football Rules Committee endorsed a proposal that would wipe out touchdowns for players who taunt before crossing the goal line. If the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approves, it would take effect in 2011. A meeting has not been scheduled. Taunting done before reaching the end zone would be assessed from the spot of the foul and nullify the score. Taunting done afterward would be imposed on the kickoff, extra point or two-point conversion.

Other committee proposals:

• Mandating players who sustain concussions be cleared by a doctor before returning.

• Requiring eye black to have no words, logos, numbers or other symbols.

UCF probation: UCF was put on two years' probation. The NCAA report said two unnamed ex-employees placed about 200 nonpermissible calls and about 100 nonpermissible text messages to 27 recruits and their parents from June 2007 to January 2009. It added coaches weren't aware of the contact.

New Paterno glasses: Penn State coach Joe Paterno might not need his thick-rimmed glasses anymore. The school said he had vision surgery last month. Paterno, 83, said he had been having trouble reading. He said he still feels funny without glasses, so he had a set made with similar frames but much thinner lenses.

little Griffin to Buckeyes: Adam Griffin will follow his father, two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin, signing with Ohio State. The younger Griffin was a running back, defensive back and return specialist at Columbus (Ohio) DeSales.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

FAST FACTS

Who's Barney Fife?

He was a deputy on the Andy Griffith Show of the 1960s played by Don Knotts. An ongoing gag was the lovable but bumbling Fife was given just one bullet that he had to keep in his shirt pocket because he couldn't be trusted with a loaded gun.

Bobby Bowden refused Barney Fife role at Florida State 02/11/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2010 12:13am]

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