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From The Desk Of Randy Spetman

Florida State University Director of Athletics Randy Spetman wants to hear from you! In a new feature series on Seminoles.com, Randy will be taking your questions and providing his insights from inside the Moore Athletics Center.

Please submit your questions by Monday at 8pm and check back on Wednesday at noon to see if your question has been selected.

Bruce Thomson, Ann Arbor, Michigan: Which college sports have been most impacted nationwide by the budget crunch and the decisions of some schools to drop sports? Which ones might be impacted in the future?
Randy Spetman: There have been a number of national stories in the media in recent weeks about the impact of the economy on sports teams both professional and collegiate and that is very real. I can tell FSU fans that in talking with my colleagues at other schools there are some gut wrenching decisions being made. In terms of what it means at Florida State, we've cut our budget by nearly seven percent which is about $3.5 million keeping us in line with what is happening all over our campus. We have made a very determined effort to cut those costs that won't directly impact our student-athletes and their ability to compete on a national level.

One of the things I appreciate is that Florida State athletics was already operating very economically before this crunch hit. Potentially finishing in the Top 15 for a third consecutive year in the Director's Cup and accomplishing what FSU has is remarkable given the discipline we've shown in the past in spending. Unfortunately, it means we are truly not cutting fat but real meat from an already lean budget compared to our competition.

It remains to be seen what sports will be impacted the most dramatically on the national scene and I'm sure each school is tackling the challenges in different ways.

Brandon (Pooler,GA): As far as our football schedule goes, does playing UF on a yearly basis ruin our chances of playing other SEC schools on a regular basis? I would think playing UGA would be a good draw.
Randy Spetman: I wouldn't say that playing Florida every year hurts our chances of playing other SEC schools on a regular basis, but it does make scheduling a bit more challenging. I know that Florida State and Auburn were scheduled to play a few years back and it was canceled. Our schedule is consistently ranked as one of the toughest in the country and as recently as yesterday The Sporting News listed ours as the second toughest in the league and one of the toughest in the country.

Playing an SEC school would be a good draw, but history shows that not many of those schools are willing to schedule non-conference road games.

Wayne Barnhill,Fortson,Ga.: Good Morning Randy, my question is,What's the story on Coach Bowden retirement...Had the pleasure of meeting Coach Bowden a few month's ago.He was the guest speaker at Columbus Baptist Church. I am a big fan of Coach Bowden and the Seminole's...Will be pulling for the Nole's in the up coming season .....Thank's, Wayne Barnhill
Randy Spetman: I received a couple of questions about Coach Bowden and his plans. First of all, I'm a big fan of Bobby Bowden as well and I can tell you that our football program is in his capable hands and definitely headed in the right direction. We are excited about the upcoming season and those even further in the future and feel that we have a plan in place that is going to work.

I know it's fairly well known, but Coach Bowden will decide what his future holds and I don't believe the result of the decisions yet to come on whether or not Florida State must vacate wins will affect his personal decision. Coach Bowden has been nothing if not honest and he has repeated that as long as he is healthy and is effective as the head coach he will continue and he is both of those as we prepare for 2009.

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