Grambling’s Eddie Robinson Back on Top

Loose Ball: With Penn State's penalty, the late Robinson regains the record for most wins by a Division I coach.

Coach Eddie Robinson, who died in 2007 (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Coach Eddie Robinson, who died in 2007 (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The city of Grambling took its own steps to restore Robinson’s place last week, sending a three-page letter to the NCAA and asking that some of Paterno’s wins be vacated. “We’re hoping the end result of [the Sandusky scandal] is coach Robinson will get his record back so everyone will think a great man holds this record,” read the letter, written by the city attorney in concert with the mayor.

We don’t know if that had any bearing on the NCAA’s decision. Regardless, Bowden isn’t thrilled with the turn of events. He said that the unprecedented punishment that vaulted him to the top of the FBS wins list “cannot replace those boys who were molested … I didn’t want it to happen like this,” said Bowden, 82. “Wish I could have earned it, but that’s the way it is.”

It’s unlikely that anyone will ever surpass Robinson’s Division I record of 408 victories. The all-time college wins record appears even safer. It’s held by 85-year-old John Gagliardi, coach of Division III’s St. John’s of Minnesota, who has 484 victories and counting.

Due to the malfeasance at Penn State, Bowden now can claim a record. That’s fair enough.

Just remember that in the same fell swoop, Robinson reclaimed his former record.

Deron Snyder’s Loose Ball column appears regularly on The Root. Follow him on Twitter and reach him at BlackDoor Ventures, Inc.

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