Alamo Bowl Notes

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Five members of Penn State's traveling team did not make the trip for the Alamo Bowl for various reasons.

Starting defensive tackle

Chris Baker,

backup linebacker

Navorro Bowman,

special-teams player

Knowledge Timmons,

reserve defensive tackle

Tom McEowen

, and backup defensive back

Willie Harriott

were not with the team when the Nittany Lions landed in Texas on Sunday, according to team spokesman

Jeff Nelson

.

Baker, Bowman and Timmons did not travel to East Lansing, Mich., for the regular-season finale on Nov. 17 after they were charged in connection with an on-campus fight in October. Baker and Bowman had felony assault charges dismissed at their preliminary hearing late last month, but they still faced misdemeanor assault charges.

Timmons was cited for disorderly conduct after the fight that left a man bloodied.

Two weeks ago, coach

Joe Paterno

said that Baker, Bowman and Timmons would come to the Alamo Bowl. However, last week the Centre County District Attorney's Office refiled the felony counts against Baker and Bowman, who are expected to stand trial in April.

Baker is also awaiting trial on assault and trespassing charges stemming from an April off-campus fight.

Harriott was cited for underage drinking in August and was briefly suspended from the team. He was charged with driving under the influence Nov. 11 in Ferguson Township, Pa.

McEowen, a redshirt freshman from Feasterville, was left home for undisclosed reasons.

"Those are things Coach Paterno has to answer," offensive coordinator

Galen Hall

said.

Deja vu

The last time that Texas A&M's interim coach,

Gary Darnell,

had "interim" attached to his name, he was replacing Hall, who had been fired from Florida.

It was 1989. Darnell had served as Hall's defensive coordinator. Hall was forced out because of NCAA rules violations, and Darnell took over for the final seven games.

"It's like a family," Darnell said. "A brother got kicked out of the house and someone's got to take care of the household until things get squared away."

Darnell did not keep the Florida job. It eventually went to

Steve Spurrier

.

Saturday's game will be Darnell's only one at the helm of the Aggies.

Dennis Franchione

stepped down as head coach at Texas A&M after a win over Texas in the regular-season finale.

Mike Sherman

, who was named the new coach a few days later, will take over next month.

Darnell and Hall first met almost 40 years ago, when the former played linebacker at Oklahoma State while the latter was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma.

"It's sort of funny how things go around," Hall said.

Sticking around

Penn State's safeties coach,

Brian Norwood

, has left to become the defensive coordinator at Baylor. Defensive coordinator

Tom Bradley

reportedly has interviewed for the coaching job at West Virginia. But Hall insists he's coming back next season.

"I plan to be back," he said.

- Jeff McLane