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After Paterno's fall, Bowden claims top spot


The NCAA’s sanctions against the Penn State football program over a sex abuse scandal are costing the school money, valuable football recruits, and wins.

Penn State’s former football Coach, the late Joe Paterno, held the record as the winningest coach Division I College football. But as part of an unprecedented penalty against the school, the NCAA vacated all of Paterno's wins from 1998 through 2011.

That means Former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden will now hold the top spot in the NCAA record book for the division.

"Any comment regarding wins and losses would be inappropriate at this time," said FSU Athletics Spokesman Ron Wilson. "We encourage the focus to be on supporting the children and families of Sandusky’s abuse as well as child abuse victims in every community."

Paterno and other Penn State officials were heavily criticized in a report for their role in covering up allegations made against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was found guilty on child sex abuse charges earlier in the month.

"“I wasn’t expecting it like this and I didn’t want it to happen like this,” the former Florida State Seminoles football coach told the Tallahassee Democrat's Jim Henry.  “(I) wish I could have earned it but that’s the way it is. All of that can’t replace those boys who were molested. … Penalties are bad but what happened was bad.”

Penn State was fined an unprecedented $60 million, given a four-year bowl ban and lost 14 seasons worth of victories. Players are allowed to transfer to other schools without penalties. 

"The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator without any input from our family or those who knew him best," the Paterno family said in a statement.

Paterno died in January shortly after being fired by Penn State.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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