TAMPA — Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden was in town Friday or the first of two bay area visits to Seminoles booster clubs. The goal, as it has been for each of his previous 33 tours, is to generate excitement for the coming season, drum up contributions big and small, autograph souvenirs, pose for photos, hit a few golf balls and, yes, field questions.
Were you surprised that just one player, defensive end Everette Brown, was selected in last weekend's NFL draft?
Yes, I was surprised. I think it tells a story. The fact that we haven't been as good as we were in the '90s and we got one guy (drafted), I think that tells a story. … I think the last time that we had this poor of a draft, the next year we had the '87 team (that was 11-1 and No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll). Maybe the kids coming up this year, you never know. But it tells you something.
Has the NCAA ruling in the academic misconduct scandal affected recruiting?
When this thing came out, some opposing coaches (were) telling everybody we can't play in a bowl. Well that's not true. We can play in a bowl. They said we can't play for a national championship. Yes, we can play for a national championship. "They can't be on television." Yes we can be on television. … We had to write them all (prospects) and say, "Hey look, son. Don't listen to those guys. This is the way it is. It won't affect you at all if you come to Florida State." I haven't heard any negative reaction from the players.
Did you see that Penn State coach Joe Paterno said he didn't think you should vacate any wins? At the end of last season, Paterno had you by one, 383-382, for the all-time Division I-A lead.
That doesn't surprise me, Joe doing that. If he were to win more games, he wouldn't want to say, "Well, ol' Bowden had to (vacate) all those games." He wouldn't want to win it like that, so it doesn't surprise me. I'd have done the same thing for him.
What's your view of playing USF for the first time this coming season?
It's a bad time to pick on them. They're playing so doggone good. They've got their program going; they've been a lot higher than us the last two or three years. It's good, though.