Three Lions to be Disciplined

Linebacker Dan Connor among three being punished in connection with prank phone calls. Exact nature of the "team probation" has yet to be determined.

During the spring and summer semesters, Penn State football players have more time on their hands than they do during the fall, when their lives are scheduled down to the second. The phrase “idle hands make for the devil's work” was conjured up for just such occasions.

And when those idle hands belong to a 19-year-old and find themselves wrapped around a cell phone, an episode of Crank Yankers starts writing itself. Nittany Lion coach Joe Paterno always says young players who find trouble are “acting like jerks.” This time they were acting like Jerky Boys.

Guido D'Elia, Penn State's director of communications, told that three Nittany Lions are being disciplined within the team for making prank phone calls bordering on harassment in the spring and summer. They are sophomore linebacker Dan Connor, junior receiver Jim Kanuch and junior safety Nolan McCready.

“These were prank calls and they violate the team code of conduct,” D'Elia said. “There will be team consequences and/or community service involved. We're just not sure what yet. But they are on probation within the team.”

Fortunately for the trio, the target of the calls chose not to press charges after receiving personal apologies. At that point, D'Elia said, the police dropped the case. He added that he does not expect the university to step in to investigate.

The coaching staff was alerted to the prank calls Tuesday, and Paterno is waiting until he can gather as many facts as possible to determine the exact form of punishment the three players will face.

“He wants to go over it more fully,” D'Elia said.

D'Elia explained that the athletic department chose to address this matter publicly in the interest of keeping the facts straight.

Connor started the last three games of 2004, when he set a school freshman record for tackles with 85. He projects as a starter this year.

Kanuch was moved from defensive back to receiver in the spring and projects as a reserve. McCready is a walk-on and reserve DB.


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