Counterpoint: Bobby Bowden is Florida State University
Posted by Jordi
(Guest post by Jordi Scrubbings.)
Yesterday, NoleCC posted a lengthy piece on why he was opposed to people saying statements such as “Bobby Bowden is FSU” or “Bobby Bowden made FSU”. He claims Florida State University would have been Florida State University even if Robert Cleckler Bowden had never stepped foot on campus. According to NoleCC,
It bothers me that players and media alike want to minimize what a great university Florida State is academically and culturally by chalking up the success and fame of FSU to ONLY the football program.
NoleCC uses his own experiences as a student to make the point that because his enrollment was in no way shaped by Bobby Bowden, then no student’s was. This is a faulty premise. As a matter of fact, there is even a chance NoleCC is completely wrong. According to NoleCC, “FSU was in major transition with renovations going on everywhere“. From the late 1980s to 2000s, what was the university’s biggest cash cow? The football team, of course. The Bobby Bowden-led Seminoles were the catalyst that drove the entire university to upgrade in 1990s. From the T.K. Wetherell Building and the University Center surrounding the former Giant Erector set that was Doak Campbell Stadium, to the medical school, to Strozier Library, I doubt any facility was constructed or improved without some contribution from the athletic department.
Think about this, even in its most simplest terms, had the football team not done well, and had Doak Campbell not been upgraded, perhaps the registrar and admissions office might still be in the WestcottÂ Building. The upgrade in administrative capability allowed the school to handle more students, students who chose FSU over Florida, USF, or UCF. Bobby Bowden is the reason these students were able to go to FSU.
There is no doubt athletically we owe our school’s reputation to Bobby Bowden. There is a lot of prestige that comes with being a top-5 football team for 15 years. Without Bobby Bowden, we might have had the crossover talent in other sports that we had. There would have been no Deion Sanders playing baseball or Charlie Ward playing basketball. No Charlie Ward playing basketball means no tournament appearance in the early 90s and the money that brought in.
Although I see where NoleCC is coming from and yes, many students may have chosen to come to FSU based strictly on academics or programs or opportunities or maybe even the beautiful landscape of Tallahassee. But, then again, some also have chosen FSU because Jim Morrison of The Doors went there (ex. the lead singer of Creed). However, if not for Bobby Bowden, the university they enrolled in would be a completely different place. To put it bluntly, it would be a middle-of-the-road university far overshadowed in all but a few areas by other state colleges. Basically, it would have been the University of Central Florida.
Florida State University is the Florida State University it is today because of Bobby Bowden. He is, directly or indirectly, Florida State University.