Penn State has dismissed outside linebacker Manny Bowen and wide receiver Irv Bowen, the program announced Tuesday. The purposely-vague “violation of team rules” was the reasoning.
“Manny Bowen and Irvin Charles are no longer members of the Penn State football team due to a violation of team rules,” the program said in a statement to PennLive. “We appreciate their contributions to the program and wish them success in the future.”
Lions247 was the first outlet to report the pair were not with the rest of the club in Phoenix.
Bowen, a junior, started the first nine games of the season before he was suspended for the final quarter of the regular season. He finished the year with 51 tackles, good for fifth on the team, with 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Senior Brandon Smith is expected to start for Bowen in the Fiesta Bowl, as he did over the final three games of the season.
Charles caught just one pass for four yards this season, but the sophomore carved out a niche on special teams, forcing a fumble that Nick Scott returned for a 13-yard touchdown in a 45-14 win over Indiana on Sept. 30.
The ninth-ranked Nittany Lions will meet No. 11 Washington on Saturday (4 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Penn State may have had to sneak out of Iowa City with a win last week, but the Nittany Lions started fast in their return home to Beaver Stadium this week. Saquon Barkley added to his Heisman candidacy highlight reel by returning the game’s opening kick 98 yards for a touchdown and later added a nifty one-handed catch before taking off for a big gain as Penn State jumped out to a 28-0 lead on Indiana, but the Hoosiers have clawed back a little and only trail 28-14 at halftime.
Penn State scored 28 points in the first quarter, including a second score just a few minutes after Barkley’s kickoff touchdown. The Nittany Lions have scored 14 points off Indiana turnovers, including a short return on special teams by Nick Scott. Scott picked up a loose football after Irvin Charles knocked the ball out of the hands of Indiana’s J-Shun Harris II on a punt return. Scott needed just 13 yards on the return for a score.
Harris was slow to get up off the field on the play and has not returned to the game. Indiana also saw running back Morgan Ellison get helped off the field in the first half.
Indiana cut the lead in half late in the second quarter eight plays after a turnover by Penn State. After picking off a pass, Indiana’s Simmie Cobbs Jr. picked up an 18-yard touchdown reception from Peyton Ramsey to continue the chipping away at Penn State’s lead.
Despite getting off on the right foot in the first quarter, Penn State’s offense went into a shell in the second quarter as Indiana found ways to bring pressure on Trace McSorley. Toward the end of the first half, Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki took a shot to the ribs that required some medical assistance off the field. Penn State failed to score in the second quarter, while Indiana did all it could to chip away. The question in the second half is how long Indiana can keep Penn State from doing much damage, and if they can find enough offense to give Penn State a run.