Bowden Gets Support From Florida Governor

Embattled Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is getting help from a key supporter: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

Crist's press office released a statement Saturday from the governor, wishing Bowden luck for the Seminoles' night game against Georgia Tech.

It was a highly unusual form of public backing from Crist, a longtime fan who graduated from Florida State in 1978. Typically, his press office sends statements out on significant state events and celebrations of holidays.

"As a loyal 'Nole, I want to wish Florida State the best of luck in Tallahassee tonight," Crist said in the statement. "I wish all the best for coach Bobby Bowden _ one of the greatest coaches of all time. God bless you, Coach!"

Florida State was 2-3 entering Saturday for the Seminoles' slowest start since 1976, Bowden's first year in Tallahassee. His future has been the source of speculation for years, perhaps never moreso than in recent days after the chairman of the university's trustees said Bowden should leave after this season.

"This dadgum team is so close to being 5-0," Bowden said during his weekly teleconference Wednesday. "We're not, but it ain't like we're getting crushed."

University president T.K. Wetherell said this week that Bowden's job is safe for now.

"I appreciate his support," Bowden said after Wetherell's response. "I think he's wise and I'm very thankful. Our players, we tell them don't pay any attention to all that stuff ... and I'm sure that's what they do."

Bowden has indicated he would like to coach through at least the 2010 season. Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher has a contract already calling for the school to pay him $5 million if he is not the head coach by January 2011.

"Same old story," Bowden said. "When the season's over, I'll let them know if I want to come back. ... If you listen to your critics, you'll be sitting up there with them."