The Florida State football team will vacate an undetermined number of wins (do they have to give the money back?), serve four years' probation, and face a reduction in scholarships (all of three out of 85, oh my!) and other penalties (more jokes) due to what the NCAA described Friday as "major violations" from an academic cheating scandal.
Nine other programs were also penalized -- 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 -- and face the same sanctions. Overall, the scandal involved 61 athletes.
It is not immediately clear how many wins Florida State will have to vacate. Dennis Thomas, the vice chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions and acting chair for the FSU case, said only one ineligible player would have had to participate in a game for the entire team record to be vacated. Still, Thomas said the NCAA had no evidence the university knowingly played ineligible athletes.
Florida State is considering appealing the sanction that would force the Seminoles to vacate wins.
REALLY, IT’S NOT ALL THAT BAD: The football team will be limited to 83 total scholarships in 2008-09; 82 in 2009-10; and 84 in 2010-11; the maximum usually allowed by the NCAA is 85. Florida State self-imposed the loss of the two scholarships for 2008-09, and will self-impose the loss of three scholarships for 2009-10. The NCAA added an additional loss of scholarship from the maximum in 2010-11.
No word yet on how this will impact the Battle of the Ancient Ones - Paterno v. Bowden.