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Florida State appealing part of sanctions



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State officials told the NCAA on Thursday it’s unfair to penalize coach Bobby Bowden as part of the sanctions announced last month, resulting from an academic cheating scandal that involved dozens of athletes.

In a formal 28-page written appeal by a private attorney representing the school and dated April 23, the university said the penalty that includes forfeits in football and nine other sports was too harsh.

Bowden has 382 career wins – one fewer than Penn State’s Joe Paterno, the all-time major college leader. Losing 14 wins could ruin any chance Bowden has of catching Paterno.

In his only comment on the issue, the 79-year-old Bowden said last month that he thought the sanctions were too stiff.

“Does the punishment fit the crime?” Bowden asked. “I think that’s the thing; that’s the thing we gotta find the answer to right there.”

Bowden was out of town Thursday on his annual booster tour and unavailable to comment on the school’s formal appeal.

Williams said it was also unfair to vacate individual records by athletes not involved in the academic misconduct. Although the NCAA told Florida State it should vacate all team and individual records for contests where the ineligible athletes competed, opponents would not benefit or be able to claim victory.

The NCAA said Florida State would have to surrender victories in games where ineligible student-athletes participated in the fall of 2006 and 2007 and spring of 2007.

The cheating occurred mainly through online testing for a single music history course in the fall of 2006 and the spring and summer semesters of 2007.

FSU has accepted the loss of scholarships in 10 sports and a four-year probation the NCAA announced March 6.

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