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rayfsc07

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#60 : June 24, 2007, 03:43:10 PM

So again, back to the subject at hand, how can you defend this recruiting tactic?  Do you think it is ok for a person in Bowden's position to write a letter on behalf of someone who committed such "monstrous" crimes?  Say for a minute this judge was persuaded by the legendary Bowden and let this guy out of prison in 10 years, do you feel safe with him walking the streets?  How about your wife or family?  I know I wouldn't want my wife, sister, mom, or anyone walkign around with this monster on the streets.  So please, tell me, without bringing up any other incident what makes this right?  Two wrongs don't make a right, so defending by finger pointing isn't going to cut it here man.  Please explain to me how Bowden doing this is representative of such high character and integrity?  "Boys will be Boys: isn't going to cut it here man.  Neither is praying it's not a felony, since it was one.

How you can read this and not get a disgusting feeling in your stomach is beyond me.  Everytime I read this I get chills and feel sick.  I will never understand how anyone can write a letter on behalf of someone who commits crimes like this in hopes of gaining some sort of leniency.


Bowden sends wrong signals on subject of rape
Published March 5, 2004


It was Christmastime, 1993, when former Florida State football player Michael Gibson raped her.

He broke into her apartment, shot her twice, leaving two gaping holes in her chest. Then, as she lay there bleeding and crying, he continued with the sexual assault. And then he left her for dead.

Except before he left the scene, this deranged monster of a man took one final liberty:

Michael Gibson stole the Christmas presents on his way out.

"How low can you get?" says John Witherspoon, the husband of the young woman who was raped that day. "How could Bobby Bowden ever write a letter in that man's behalf, to try and help that man someday get out of prison?"

Good question and one that hasn't been asked nearly enough. Since when did Bobby Bowden become a spokesperson for rape and rapists?

Bowden chose to speak out the other day in support of embattled Colorado Coach Gary Barnett and, in the process, questioned the validity of recent rape allegations against Colorado football players. Bowden, who seems suddenly to have become an expert on rape crisis counseling, questioned why the alleged victims took so long to report crimes that happened a few years ago.

"I did not understand how a young lady can say she was abused, or whatever it was, two years later," Bowden told reporters in South Carolina. "At the time, why don't you go report it? It seems like you ought to report it right [away]. So it makes me say, 'Well, did it really happen like that? I don't know.' "

I wonder if Bobby also questions the integrity of the boys who were abused by Catholic priests and were too ashamed and embarrassed to come forward until years later? Or is it only boys who tell the truth?

"I wish I could say that I'm surprised by Bobby Bowden's comments," says Witherspoon, an attorney in South Carolina. "Doesn't he always take the side of the athlete no matter what? It sure seems that way."

Bowden, of course, knows nothing about the specifics in Colorado. He doesn't know the alleged victims. He doesn't know the players involved. All he seems to know is that he's a football coach, and football coaches defend their brethren and their boys -- defend them all the way to the penitentiary if necessary.

If anybody has a right to feel betrayed by Bowden's public stance on rape, it is Witherspoon and his wife. She's a former Florida State student who was the victim of the horrifying sexual assault at the hands of Gibson, a former FSU running back who was on the team for less than a season. Gibson also was convicted on three other rape charges -- one in which he held a gun on a man and made him watch while he sexually assaulted his girlfriend. Gibson received six life sentences: four for rape, one for armed burglary and one for attempted felony murder.

"What we have here is a serial rapist who has raped, we know of, four women," Tallahassee state attorney Willie Meggs said in court. "Brutalized them with firearms, physical force, deadly weapons. I want to be sure he never gets out."

This serial rapist is the man for whom Bowden wrote a self-described "letter of reference" a few months ago before a hearing in which Gibson's lawyers tried to get the life sentences overturned so that Gibson someday would be released from prison. Gibson is the adopted son of former FSU player Ernie Sims Jr. and Alice Sims. Their son, Ernie Sims III, is a sophomore linebacker for the Seminoles who was rated by some recruiting analysts as the nation's No. 1 prep player coming out of high school.

In the reference letter to Circuit Judge Kathleen Dekker, Bowden wrote, "I can only account for what I know about him when I was recruiting him out of [Tallahassee's] North Florida Christian High School and for the time he was on our football team at Florida State University." Bowden went on to write that Gibson was "no problem" when he suited up for the Seminoles and that he has a "loving, caring family." At the end, Bowden concluded: "Thank you for reading my letter and may God direct you in your decision."

The letter was written on Florida State stationery and signed "Coach Bowden."

When the letter became public through court records, Witherspoon said his wife was "crushed and crestfallen." This is a woman who loved Florida State, graduated from the school, and was a huge football fan whom friends say "revered Coach Bowden."

"When she first found out about Bobby Bowden's letter, she couldn't even watch Florida State games on TV anymore," Witherspoon said. "How can you support a serial rapist? How could any coach speak up on behalf of this animal?"

At the hearing in October, Witherspoon's wife had to get up and relive that horrible day once again. She's 34 now, an attorney and a mother of two. But, still, 11 years later, she can't forget. How could she?

"He shot me first, and then he raped me," she testified. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about it. The thought of him getting out of prison terrifies me."

Judge Dekker agreed. She ruled that Gibson must spend the rest of his life in jail. "You have committed unspeakable crimes," she told him. "Monstrous crimes."

It has been said that Bobby Bowden sees the good in people, almost to a fault. But despite this penchant for blind loyalty, how could you ever see any good in any man who has shot and then raped a woman?

After the Gibson hearing, Linda Miklowitz, the president of Florida's branch of the National Organization for Women, wrote a letter of protest about Bowden to Florida State President T.K. Wetherell. In the letter, obtained by the Sentinel on Thursday, Miklowitz lashed out: "Until FSU starts taking seriously sexual violence against women by athletes, the school will continue to send the de**CENSORED**able message to hundreds of young men that rape is okay. Censuring Bowden would be a good first indication of change of course."

Miklowitz's suggestion obviously never was heeded because this week Bobby Bowden, it seems, once again turned into Bobby Knight -- except Bowden's graduation rate isn't nearly as high. It was Knight who once advised victims that, "if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it." Bowden's comments and actions, although not as callous, are just as insensitive.

Wetherell came to Bowden's defense Thursday in an e-mailed statement in which he wrote: "I have known Coach Bowden for years. I am sure he never meant to suggest in any way that he condones any type of abusive behavior." What's even more troubling is that this isn't really just about Bowden; it's about the culture and the code of the locker room. In a sports world filled with attractive recruiting hostesses and under-the-table sex favors, women are treated as accessories and enticements.

Boys will be boys. Girls will be toys.

"It seems to me that these coaches help create this atmosphere of entitlement," Witherspoon says. "The athletes are led to believe that they are special; that the system owes them something. They think they can take anything they want, and that includes women. It's like, 'If she doesn't want me, I'm just going to take her.' "

This is not to say Bowden or any coach condones rape, but -- at the same time -- shouldn't they go out of their way to condemn it? Rape is a serious problem in college, and one study found that one-third of campus rapes are perpetrated by athletes.

Instead of always defending the players, just once wouldn't you like to hear a coach say, "How's the victim doing? Is she OK? What can we do to help her?"

And instead of writing a letter of reference on behalf of the rapist, just once wouldn't you like the coach to write a letter of concern to the woman who was raped?

Bobby Bowden defends his insensitive comments about rape by railing against "political correctness." But this isn't about political correctness; it's about correctness -- period. It's about doing and saying the right things and sending the right message.

You don't question the honesty of an alleged rape victim you've never met.

And you don't write letters on behalf of serial rapists.

Especially if you sign your letters "Coach Bowden." That title means a lot to young men.

 

rayfsc07

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#61 : June 25, 2007, 10:10:52 AM

He had no business writing the letter.

What do you think he hoped to gain then? 

What on earth could Bowden possibly have hoped to gain by writing this letter? 


And apparantly it's not just gator hate, judging by the comments made by Linda Miklowitz, the president of Florida's branch of the National Organization for Women.  I guess she is just a Gator homer who hates coach Bowden too?  LMAO!

Your little anaolgy doesn't fly with me either.  This was not just some accusation.  He was CONVICTED of heinous crimes.  "Monstrous crimes" as described by the Jufge!  Is she a Gator homer too?? 

Just as the article says, I am not saying Bowden condones rape. To quote the article:
 
"This is not to say Bowden or any coach condones rape, but -- at the same time -- shouldn't they go out of their way to condemn it?"

Writing this letter sends the wrong message IMO.  I also agree that maybe instead of Bowden being so concerned about Gibson and his sentence, he should have been concerned about the poor woman, a former FSU student, who was brutally raped and shot and then savagely raped again while bleeding .

Despite your assertions I do not hate Bobby Bowden. In fact, I hope he coaches another 10 years at FSU.  I don't mind him at all.  I just think it is ridiculous how you like to go around pointing fingers at everyone else all the while acting like Bowden has never made a mistake, never done anything wrong, never broken a rule, always does the right thing, etc. 

I don't like to point things like this out but you are the one who can't seem to admit that we all make mistakes....even the Great Saint Bobby.  He's not perfect.  So remember that next time you try to point fingers and call anyone else out. 

Runole

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#62 : June 25, 2007, 10:46:37 AM

Oh and Ray nice list now go back and eliminate all those alleged incidents that occurred after the athlete left FSU.

Next eliminate those in which the player was found not guilty in  court.

Next eliminate those that were punished by law enforcement.


Finally if the player was punished or dismissed from the school how does this reflect on FSU not acting properly?


The list gets quite small after such scrutiny  But keep trying RAY!!!



Personally, rather than comparing  "Your bad boys are worse than ours" I prefer this statement from the NCAA concerning UF when compared to FSU!!


"Unfortunately, during the five-year period in which the violations occurred," continued Mr. Toner, "the football coaching staff operated unimpeded by any effort being exerted by the university's director of athletics or any other administrative authority at the university to assure control of the football program. Due to this fact, as well as the serious nature of many of the violations in this case, the Committee on Infractions and the Council considered this to be among the most serious infractions cases ever processed by the NCAA.”


That is all I need to know about how UF monitors its athletic programs when it comes to compliance and a running a program with ethics and integrity.  FSU has no such "Black Mark " under Bowden's tenure..









rayfsc07

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#63 : June 25, 2007, 10:58:17 AM

Blah blah blah blah.

Keep trying runole.  I must say you do try awfully hard to deflect the argument when you know you can't win.  I like your "I can't defend this so I will just point out other discretions in hopes of changing the subject."  It is truly funny!

Bowden sure exemplified this higher standard when he made insensitive comments about an alleged rape victim and then proceeded to write a letter on behalf of a convicted Rapist and attempted murderer whom the judge said committed "monstrous crimes." 

So again, quit avoiding the question and trying to deflect attention away and tell me what Bowden hoped to gain by writing this letter?  What good could come out of it?  Why was he so concerned about this monster and not the victim who was an FSU Alum? 

I am not the one who tries to compare "bad boys."  I just think it is funny when you point fingers at UF like FSU hasn't had there share of crimes committed by players. 

You have already been exposed as a liar, hypocrite, and more.  Just give it up man.  I guess you did take a step up by not accusing me of lying about Bowdens letter.  Keep it up and one day you just may own up to all these high standards you so desperately want us to all believe that you have!


"Boys will be boys."  I must say that quote is a Bowden classic!  Right next to the one where he "prays its not a felony." 

Truly amazing! 

Runole

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#64 : June 25, 2007, 11:27:12 AM

He had no business writing the letter.


That is entirely your opinion and what in the HELL gives you the right to say he has no business writing the letter! What unmitigated gall!! He can write any letter he pleases. I believe he did the right thing for the Sims family. That is my thought. you disagree.. 

What do you think he hoped to gain then? 

There was nothing to gain other than for Bowden to share in that families grief over their son's heinous crimes.  Contrary to your opinion, I am sure this weighs heavily on them.

What on earth could Bowden possibly have hoped to gain by writing this letter?

Bowden was attempting to gain  nothing other than showing some compassion for the other victims of this crime


And apparantly it's not just gator hate, judging by the comments made by Linda Miklowitz, the president of Florida's branch of the National Organization for Women.  I guess she is just a Gator homer who hates coach Bowden too?  LMAO!

Linda most certainly is entitled to her opinion even though it is completely irrelevant to the issue. Bowden most certainly condemns rape and if asked by Linda most certainly would state that.  What Linda and you obviously don't understand is compassion for the family of Gibson.  The letter would have absolutely no effect on Gibson's conviction or his sentence but it gave the the Sims family some closure on the horrible crime a son had committed. You obviously don't understand the Sims family's grief and that certainly is your prerogative.  JMHO but somehow you seem to think they need to be punished more? Sorry, I again will disagree.

Your little anaolgy doesn't fly with me either.  This was not just some accusation.  He was CONVICTED of heinous crimes.  "Monstrous crimes" as described by the Jufge!  Is she a Gator homer too??

My analogy was referring to the Colorado incident that you posted and I feel it is most appropriate since there is a difference between conviction and being accused.



Just as the article says, I am not saying Bowden condones rape. To quote the article:
 
"This is not to say Bowden or any coach condones rape, but -- at the same time -- shouldn't they go out of their way to condemn it?"

Writing this letter sends the wrong message IMO.  I also agree that maybe instead of Bowden being so concerned about Gibson and his sentence, he should have been concerned about the poor woman, a former FSU student, who was brutally raped and shot and then savagely raped again while bleeding .

Despite your assertions I do not hate Bobby Bowden. In fact, I hope he coaches another 10 years at FSU.  I don't mind him at all.  I just think it is ridiculous how you like to go around pointing fingers at everyone else all the while acting like Bowden has never made a mistake, never done anything wrong, never broken a rule, always does the right thing, etc.


I don't like to point things like this out but you are the one who can't seem to admit that we all make mistakes....even the Great Saint Bobby.  He's not perfect.  So remember that next time you try to point fingers and call anyone else out. 

I have never stated Bowden has never done anything wrong or that he is perfect and doesn't make mistakes. However, that being said you are not even in the same ball park as he is when it comes to his contributions to society.  I will always trust his judgment over yours because you have shown in your posts that you are a most shallow person lacking compassion for others. Oh and I notice... "Great Saint" Bobby.. Hmmm ? Ray again using sarcasm to besmirch a Man that he will never hold a candle to!! Keep showing your character Ray it defines you so well!



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#65 : July 02, 2007, 05:33:32 PM

I must say after reading that article  I lost a lot of respect for Mr. Bowden.

I don't care what any FSU homer says, that is a letter that should never be written.  I agree with Ray on that one.

Looks like once again Bowden blames the victims and sticks up for his boys.

I am not shocked however that Runole has his lips firmly placed on Bobby's ass, even though clearly here he is wrong.

Runole

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#66 : July 02, 2007, 10:26:12 PM

I must say after reading that article  I lost a lot of respect for Mr. Bowden.

I don't care what any FSU homer says, that is a letter that should never be written.  I agree with Ray on that one.

Looks like once again Bowden blames the victims and sticks up for his boys.

I am not shocked however that Runole has his lips firmly placed on Bobby's butt, even though clearly here he is wrong.


Your entitled to your opinion.    So if it was your own son or daughter that committed such a crime how would you deal with it personally?


Take your time...  Please give a well thought out answer clearly and cogently. 


Again I see nothing in the letter condoning or condemning the convicted man.   Just a factual statement.   Should he have refused?  Not if he is true to the Christian faith.


Oh and here unlike myself is someone that actually knows the Sims family.... 

"I have had interactions with both the Sims Family and Jimbo Fisher and his family recently and I can say that they are both extremely classy families. I was surprised at how shy Ernie Jr is, but nonetheless he was very friendly. His parents are very involved in youth sports with their track team and I am certainly proud that they represent FSU the way they do. They are WONDERFUL people. I look forward to watching Marcus this year and the next to come and beside rooting for him as a Seminole I will root for him as a person!!! As for Jimbo I don't want to go into great detail but just mention that we are in great hands (no-brainer) and that he is a wonderful representative of our football staff. As we move closer to season I am STILL proud to be a Nole regardless of how we perform. "

Just thought it would only be fair to see comments from someone that obviously knows the Sims family I don't believe he would share your viewpoint on Bobby's letter.
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