TAMPA, Fla. - Sophomore quarterback Kevin Newsome did not make the Florida trip with the Nittany Lions, all but assuring that he will transfer from Penn State before the spring semester.
Asked about Newsome earlier in the week, coach Joe Paterno said he had not talked to him about his plans.
Earlier in the season, when asked why Newsome didn't play more, Paterno suggested that he didn't have a good grasp of the offense.
Newsome, the backup to Daryll Clark in 2009, was part of a three-way competition at quarterback with sophomore Matt McGloin and freshman Rob Bolden in the preseason. He entered the year ranked by Paterno as "1-B," ahead of McGloin but behind Bolden.
But Newsome played in only six games, none after the Oct. 23 win over Minnesota, as McGloin moved ahead of him and eventually became the starter.
With McGloin, Bolden, and redshirt freshman Paul Jones returning in the spring, Newsome apparently thought it was best to go elsewhere.
Cornerback D'Anton Lynn said Wednesday he was a little surprised that Newsome would be leaving.
"He was a big part of the team," Lynn said. "He didn't play much, but he was a vocal leader for the team. But we all wish him the best at whatever school he picks."
Newsome rushed for 66 yards and completed 6 of 13 passes for 78 more during his limited playing time.
There must be times when Penn State athletic director Tim Curley wishes he were the Maytag repairman.
But all the Internet rumors that have circulated in the last month about Paterno and his alleged health issues have made Curley a much-requested interview subject, even if he won't address any of the reports.
"We're going to be focused on this weekend here and enjoy this particular bowl experience," Curley said Wednesday before an Outback Bowl luncheon for players and coaches. "Whenever the time comes, we'll address it at that time.
"But until then, we're excited about playing Florida, and then we're looking forward to really an exciting year next year. We've got a great schedule next year, so there's a lot to look forward to. But in terms of all that other speculation, we'll address it at whatever time."
Curley said he will meet with Paterno next month "about what we need to do to improve the team for next year."
Curley said there is so much "crazy stuff" regarding Paterno that he's not paying any attention to it, but he said his 84-year-old football coach is doing an admirable job of staying focused.
"That's always been a strength of Joe's," Curley said. "So it really is just something I think he handles really well. He's very focused on what we've got to do and what's in front of him, and he worries about the things that he can control. That just makes it a lot better for all of us. It's pretty unique."
Learning to count
The emcee of Wednesday's luncheon received an earful from the Penn State side of the Tampa Convention Center ballroom when he announced in his introduction of Paterno that the coach had amassed 394 career wins.
"401! 401!" came the yells.
Apparently, the emcee had some year-old information. The Nittany Lions went 7-5 in the regular season, with their sixth win giving Paterno No. 400.