Rose Bowl Notes

LOS ANGELES -

Pat Devlin

is not here for the Rose Bowl, but the former Penn State quarterback is still a topic of conversation.

His departure left a wake, and his coaches are speaking out about what went awry. According to previous reports, Devlin and his relationship with quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno had strained.

"I thought I had a good relationship with [him]," Paterno said. "I didn't have a problem. But who knows?"

Devlin has not commented since the announcement from Penn State earlier this month that he was transferring.

The redshirt sophomore backed up Daryll Clark this season and was faced with that same scenario for another season. He has reportedly committed to Delaware of Division I-AA, where he can play next season without losing a year of eligibility.

"Everybody thinks they can play in the NFL, and they think: 'I've got to play. I got to show what I can do,' " offensive coordinator Galen Hall said. "It was a decision that he and his family [made]. It could be the right decision. It could be the wrong decision. Who knows? But it's their decision."

Devlin and his parents, Mark and Connie, met with head coach Joe Paterno on Dec. 8. Three days later, the former high school all-American from Downingtown East was no longer a Nittany Lion after Paterno decided that Devlin would not travel to Pasadena.

"I wouldn't say it surprised me," Jay Paterno said. "I thought maybe that conversation would happen in January."

Paterno and Hall said they hadn't spoken to Devlin since the announcement was made. Paterno said he left a message with his former protege, as did Clark, who roomed with Devlin the night before home games.

"I tried to call him once, but I've been busy," Clark said. "It is what it is."

Starters back

Consider Joe Paterno's lesson learned.

Three starters demoted Saturday were back wearing first-team jerseys yesterday at practice.

Defensive end Aaron Maybin, center A.Q. Shipley, and guard Rich Ohrnberger were punished for missing various team functions. All three were members of the all-Big Ten first team.

Maybin skipped Friday's Disneyland event, and Shipley and Ohrnberger were absent from a team breakfast and late for a meeting.

"I think they responded well," wide receiver Deon Butler said. "They know what they're here for, and they know that they want to win games. . . . Those guys have been around too long."

Rose petals

Hall, the offensive coordinator, said that he plans to return next season and that he envisions staying on through Joe Paterno's three-year contract extension. "I'm 14 years younger than Joe," Hall said. "I feel good. Joe feels good. He's looking forward to it, and I'm looking forward to it."

Wide receiver Jordan Norwood said that he injured his left foot in the season finale against Michigan State and that he was 90 percent recovered. "It's just a nagging injury," he said.

- Jeff McLane