Last week at the Big Ten media days, Joe Paterno intimated that Paul Jones would likely not be available for the entire 2011 season due to academic issues.
Today, Penn State’s depth at the quarterback position appears to have taken yet another hit. Maybe.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Kevin Newsome has decided to leave the football program and will likely transfer. Penn State, which began summer camp Thursday, has not commented on Newsome’s status with the program.
When reached by phone by the school’s student newspaper, Newsome’s father indicated that a final decision hasn’t been made, but did allow that a transfer is certainly an option.
“We don’t really have any set details of anything right now,” Kevin Newsome Sr. told the Daily Collegian. “It’s possible. Right now, of course as you can imagine, we’re just trying to work through some things, and sort a lot of things out.”
Newsome, the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2009 according to Rivals.com, did not make the trip with the team to the Outback Bowl late last year, fueling rumors that his time with the program had come to an end. He did participate in spring practice, although the battle for the starting job essentially centered on Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin.
Given the fact that Jones will likely be unavailable, and if Newsome does ultimately decide to bolt, that would leave the Nittany Lions with just Shane McGregor, a walk-on redshirt junior, behind Bolden and McGloin.
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.
“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”
That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.
In the midst of what could be a dream season in South Philadelphia, the Temple Owls announced a rare sellout for a football game this afternoon. The October 31 game at home against Notre Dame has sold out Lincoln Financial Field. This is the first time Temple has sold out two home games in the same season since 1976, when the Owls began playing home games in one of Philadelphia’s pro sports stadiums.
This is the second sellout of the season for Temple, but it is also worth mentioning who the opponents are for those two games; Penn State and Notre Dame. Penn State is always Temple’s biggest draw when they get a chance to host the Nittany Lions and their legions of fans in and around the Delaware Valley. Temple dominated Penn State in the season opener, snapping a long losing streak against the in-state power. Notre Dame is also a big draw everywhere the Irish go, and there is a solid fanbase in the southeastern part of Philadelphia as well.
It is also a rare trip to Philadelphia for Notre Dame. The Irish last played in Philadelphia in 1993 when they faced Navy in Veterans Stadium. Navy also hosted Notre Dame in Philadelphia in 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1974. Notre Dame and Temple have never played in Philadelphia, although they did face each other in the 2013 season opener. This year’s game is the second game of a home-and-home series.
The game could potentially prove to play a key role in the evolving College Football Playoff and Group of Five conversation as well. If Temple avoids slipping up this week against UCF and next week at East Carolina and USC holds off USC, then we could have an undefeated and top 25 Temple program hosting a top 15 or even potential top 10 Notre Dame on Halloween. Let’s not put the cart ahead of the horse here, but that could be a very attractive matchup worth paying attention to at the end of the month for many fanbases.