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Bobby Bowden: I had prostate cancer surgery 4 years ago

This morning, Bobby Bowden is announcing that four years ago he had surgery for prostate cancer but didn't disclose it to anyone other than his family.

Bowden is going public this morning in conjunction with his role as a compensated spokesman for On The Line, a national prostate cancer education initiative.

In making the announcement, Bowden states that he didn't tell anyone about his diagnosis or the surgery for fear that it would impact recruiting. "What I knew was something like that happens to a coach and your opponents find out about it, the first thing they say is 'Don't go to Florida State, Coach Bowden is about to die'."

"If I knew then what I know now, I would have considered it my moral duty to bring it out in the open. I thought it was the right thing to do then, but that's not the message now." 

Bowden says he is now cancer free, thanks to the fine work of Dr. Joe Camps. Camps, who played for Bowden, admitted Bowden to the hospital (under a fictitious name) at midnight to keep the secret. The surgery took less than an hour, after which Bowden was brought to a secure part of the hospital for recovery. He was discharged by 5AM.