The NCAA came down on Florida State's athletic program — in the wake of an academic misconduct scandal — with a ruling that, barring a successful appeal, will force FSU to vacate as many as seven football wins from the 2007 season (Story, 1A). Some questions and answers as FSU moves toward an appeal:
What does the vacating of football games mean to FSU coach Bobby Bowden?
FSU was 7-6 in 2007, a season in which several players who have admitted to being part of the scandal also played. That means at least seven wins are gone from the record books. Bowden's record was 382-123-4, just one win behind Penn State's Joe Paterno for the all-time lead in Division I-A history.
How many athletes and sports are involved?
The school and NCAA determined 61 athletes in 10 sports were involved in an academic misconduct scandal. The sports are football, baseball, men's track and field, women's track and field, men's swimming, women's swimming, men's basketball, women's basketball, softball and men's golf.
What can FSU do next?
The school has 15 days to appeal to the five-member Infractions Appeals Committee. FSU appealed the findings in its last major infractions case, the "Foot Locker" scandal that involved agent dealings with football players on the 1993 championship team. The sanctions were upheld.
Does an appeal ever restore vacated games?
Yes, and there's a recent example involving a football program. In July 2007, the committee on infractions ruled that Oklahoma failed to monitor the employment of several football players and had to vacate all eight wins from the 2005 season. In that case, three players, including quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn, had received about $17,000 for work they didn't do at a car dealership.
OU appealed and, late in February 2008, the appeals committee cited the school's cooperation as a factor in determining that the vacation of records was an inappropriate penalty.
Will vacating games affect the coaches as they recruit for the 2010 class?
There is, for the time being, an undeniable cloud over the program. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, however, said that when his program faced that, he and his staff didn't let that adversely affect recruiting. The group of 21 signees in 2008 was rated by Rivals.com as the sixth best nationally. Eight of those players saw action as freshmen in the Sooners' run to the Bowl Championship Series national title game against Florida in January.
"In the end you manage it, and you don't use it as an excuse," Stoops said recently. "And fortunately we were able to overcome it."
Does FSU have to repay money it received from its appearance in the Music City Bowl in 2007?
No. The NCAA doesn't run the bowls.