GREENSBORO, N.C. — Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is approaching his 80th birthday, and he's asking for quite the present.
He hopes to hang on to the 14 victories the NCAA wants to remove from his record due to an academic cheating scandal.
"I'm still thinking they'll come to their senses," Bowden said Monday, the final of two ACC media days.
Bowden again expressed his desire to remain in a chase with Penn State's Joe Paterno to become the winningest coach in major college football. Bowden enters his 34th season in Tallahassee with 382 career wins, one fewer than Paterno.
"They're just going to kill a good dadgum competition if they take those games away," Bowden said. Reporters, he added, "don't have a darned thing to write about if they take those games away. (The NCAA) might do it. I hope they don't."
The NCAA has ruled that FSU must vacate wins in 10 sports because of the scandal, which involved 61 athletes found to have committed varying degrees of academic fraud. FSU has appealed.
"I'm going to tell (the school) to fight like you-know-what," Bowden said. "I'm going to tell them to fight it (with) all we're worth, and I'd fight it if I could, but there's nothing I can do. But if we don't win it, I'll accept it."
NCAA wants suit dismissed: The NCAA says it cannot be forced to release documents in FSU's appeal of the sanctions for academic cheating because the documents are not covered by the state's public records law. The NCAA asked Circuit Judge John C. Cooper to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Associated Press and other news organizations seeking the records under that law. Cooper will hear that motion Aug. 5. NCAA lawyer Thom Rumberger argued the documents are not public records and that the NCAA is neither a custodian of records, a public body or an agency covered by the law.
Hokies picked over FSU: Virginia Tech was the overwhelming preseason pick to win a third straight ACC football championship, earning 69 of 87 votes from media members. Tech was picked to win the Coastal Division and beat Florida State, the predicted Atlantic Division champ, in the title game. The Hokies have claimed three league titles since joining the ACC in 2004, winning the past two championship games. They return 16 starters.
"I tell (players), 'I don't mind high expectations as long as you don't forget what got those high expectations,' and that's a lot of togetherness and a lot of hard work and grinding," Hokies coach Frank Beamer said.
In the Atlantic Division, Florida State earned 56 votes, followed by Clemson (14), North Carolina State (10), Wake Forest (7), Maryland and Boston College.
"You can't stay on top forever," said Bowden, whose Seminoles won at least a share of the title their first nine years in the ACC. "But it's a cylinder. … I think now, we're on the way back."
Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer was named the preseason player of the year, earning 39 votes to outdistance Clemson's C.J. Spiller (28) and N.C. State's Russell Wilson (16).