McGloin takes the blame for fight
The Penn State quarterback said he should have "walked away" from teammate Curtis Drake.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Anyone wondering whether quarterback Matt McGloin would be made available Monday during Penn State's bowl media day to discuss his role in a post-practice fight that left him hospitalized was surprised when McGloin stepped in to answer questions as soon as the session began.
"It shouldn't have happened. I should have walked away," McGloin said of a fight Saturday with teammate Curtis Drake that resulted in the quarterback's being knocked unconscious when he hit his head on the floor and went into a seizure before being taken to a hospital.
"As a quarterback for this university, I feel like I'm held to a higher standard. I feel like I'm a role model to younger kids. I feel that coaches look at me to lead this team. I take responsibility for it. It was my fault. With everything that's going on with the team right now, we don't need another distraction."
McGloin, a redshirt junior who started the last five games, suffered a concussion in what he called "a scuffle" that "didn't last more than 10 seconds" Saturday, the second day of practice for the Jan. 2 TicketCity Bowl against Houston. He will not be allowed to return to practice until he passes medical testing.
Drake, a redshirt sophomore wide receiver and former star at West Catholic High School, was not made available for comment. He was not at Monday's practice, but interim head coach Tom Bradley did not say why.
The Penn State football team had represented itself well since a child sexual-abuse scandal broke on Nov. 5 with the indictment of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The fallout resulted in the firing of head coach Joe Paterno four days later along with the resignation of university president Graham Spanier.
Bradley, who interviewed Friday for the job of permanent head coach, said he was "disappointed that [the fight] got that far," but added that fights often break out during practice. He and a number of players said the fight would not split the team.
McGloin said he and Drake exchanged words over a misunderstanding about a pass route. He said it was a matter of two players "that are emotional about the game of football and couldn't let go."
In the locker room, Drake went over to McGloin, who was expecting another confrontation.
"As a competitor and as the person I am, I'm not going to back down from somebody," McGloin said. "I didn't know what he was going to do. He started walking over, so I stood up.
"He said something to me. Maybe he said one thing, I thought he might have said another. We kind of grabbed each other and then our momentum carried us to the floor. My shoulder hit, my head came with it, and lights out. It was a freak accident."
Bradley called the situation "very alarming." He said there will be internal discipline for McGloin and Drake that could result in the loss of playing time in the bowl game.
Bradley said he had talked to Drake.
"I think he's in the same position" as McGloin, he said. "They're both disappointed in themselves. It carried over to the locker room, and it shouldn't have. The funny thing is, they're good friends. Usually when these things happen, I can tell you from past experience, they're laughing and joking about it."
McGloin said he and Drake have been "playing phone tag" but expected to talk soon.
Bradley confirmed another problem at quarterback when sophomore backup Rob Bolden received a citation Friday night for what the coach called "a prank that ran awry." He described it as a $2 bottle of GatorAde that was taken from a store and returned unopened.
"He's taking care of it," said Bradley, who added that any disciplinary action against Bolden would not involve the loss of playing time.
Drake has been in trouble twice before during his time at Penn State, having been cited for disorderly conduct for fights in July 2010 and last February.
Wide receiver Derek Moye described McGloin and Drake as two players who "can be somewhat hard-headed sometimes and hard to argue with." He added, however, that the fight "doesn't change my opinion toward either of them."
Paterno released. A person close to Joe Paterno confirmed that the former Penn State head coach has been released from a hospital where he had been treated since Dec. 11 after re-breaking his pelvis in a fall at home.
Paterno, who returned home Sunday, also was receiving treatments for lung cancer during his stay at the hospital. He will celebrate his 85th birthday on Wednesday.
Penn State quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno declined to comment when asked Monday whether his father had left the hospital but added that he was doing fine.
The elder Paterno initially fractured his pelvis in a collision with a player during a preseason practice in August.
Watch Penn State's Matt McGloin and Tom Bradley talk about the locker-room scuffle between McGloin and Curtis Drake at http://www.philly.com/lioneyes
Tom Bradley interviews for Penn State's head coaching job. C4