NITTANY NOTES: Latest Fallout

Just when the Nittany Lions thought they were out of woods regarding off-field issues, more drama surfaced this week. But how are the players and coaches reacting?

The most recent off-field incidents at Penn State have caused three players to be suspended for this week's game against Oregon State and another to be kicked off the team entirely.

On his weekly call-in show Thursday, head coach Joe Paterno said defensive end Maurice Evans, defensive tackle Abe Koroma and tight end Andrew Quarless will not suit up against the Beavers. This after police found a "small amount" of marijuana during a search of their on-campus apartment. (As an aside, no charges had been filed as of this writing).

Meanwhile, defensive back Willie Harriott has been dismissed from the team, according to the coach. Sources tell us Harriott had an alcohol-related incident this week.

One source said Paterno was so angry over the latest news that, in a meeting with his assistants, he slammed his fist on the table and broke his watch.

"Joe is between being fed up and pissed off," an observer told us. "Earlier [Thursday], he seemed almost at loss. But in the squad meeting [Thursday afternoon], he was flat out pissed."

Another observer said, "All of this has caused a lot of unnecessary tension. This is the last thing we need. Oregon State is no push-over. Being short key players is going to make it that much more difficult."

During that squad meeting, Paterno said he was not clear on all of the details with the marijuana inciden, but "he's suspending [those involved] for getting themselves into the situation." As another observer explained, "He basically said, 'I can't believe how some of you guys are so stupid to blow these opportunities you have.'"

Defensive back A.J. Wallace, another resident of the apartment in question, was practicing Thursday, seeing first- and second-team reps at cornerback. On his radio show, Paterno said Wallace "was not part" of whatever allegedly happened at the apartment.

"Yeah, A.J. drilled today," an observer said. "He was the only one of the four [from the apartment] to see practice reps."

As of this report there had been no player-only meetings called and no players had stepped forward to address the team regarding the recent issues.

"In fairness to [the captains], they are hours away from kickoff and seem to be taking the wait-and-see approach from Paterno," one obsserver said.

Another added: "They have to just get ready for the game and prepare without these idiots. The guys are in game mode. I bet this all gets addressed by early next week."

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