Paterno dealing with more instability in Penn State program
Duluth News-Tribune (MN) - Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Author: ASSOCIATED PRESS: AP
There’s the sex talk and the booze talk and the gambling talk and the agents talk. And somehow, for some players, they don’t seem to do any good.
Leading into his biggest game so far this year — a prime-time television game at Nebraska on Saturday night — Penn State coach Joe Paterno had to answer questions Tuesday about more off-the-field incidents, this time involving a record-setting punter and a backup defensive lineman.
“Sometimes they drive me nuts,” Paterno said of his players. “Sometimes I think they’re great.”
Scott Paxson , who recorded Penn State’s only sack in last week’s 27-14 loss to Boston College, faces a preliminary hearing today on charges of criminal mischief and receiving stolen property. Police said they caught him riding a stolen bicycle.
And just hours after Jeremy Kapinos broke a freshman record by averaging 48.7 yards on six punts against Boston College — Penn State’s previous freshman record was 43.2 yards — he was charged with disorderly conduct and cited for underage drinking after university police responded to reports of a fight.
Both players remain on Penn State’s depth chart; Paterno wouldn’t say whether either would be held out of Saturday’s game for disciplinary reasons, although he said Paxson might not play for health reasons.
“I’m trying to be fair, that’s all I’ve got to do. You want me to say something now that I don’t know if I can say anything about,” Paterno said. “I’ve heard one side of the story. I’ve got to hear the other side of the story.”
Already it’s been a turbulent year:
* Just before practices began, Centre County (Pa.) District Attorney Ray Gricar announced he would not file charges against members of the football team in a fight that sent two Penn State wrestlers to the hospital. Gricar said neither the football players nor the wrestlers fully cooperated with the investigation.
* Nickel back Anwar Phillips was acquitted on sexual assault charges Aug. 26 and began practicing with the team just four days before Penn State’s opening game. Paterno was widely criticized for allowing Phillips to play in the Capital One Bowl last year after Phillips had been temporarily expelled.
* E.Z. Smith, one of just two veterans returning on the offensive line, was cited twice in one week this summer for underage drinking outside his on-campus apartment.