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PSU's Matt McGloin discusses his health and what happened in the Curtis Drake altercation
December 19, 2011 - Cory Giger
UNIVERSITY PARK -- Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin took full responsibility for Saturday's altercation with receiver Curtis Drake, which resulted in McGloin suffering a seizure and concussion after hitting his head on the ground in the locker room after practice.
Here's a Q&A McGloin had on bowl media day Monday.
Q: How's your health at this point?
A: Good. I feel good. The scuffle we had, I'm willing to take full responsibility for it. I may not have started it, but as a quarterback for this university, I should be held to a higher standard. It should not have happened. I should have walked away from it. It was just two guys who are emotional about the game got into an argument. As he came over toward me, I couldn't back away. You can't even call it a fight, you call it a scuffle. We kind of just grabbed each other, and it didn't last more than 10 seconds. We just grabbed each other, and as we fell to the ground, basically just a freak accident the way I hit my head on the ground. You do that 100 times, 99 out of 100 times it won't happen.
Q: Why do you take responsibility?
A: Like I said, as a quarterback for this university, I feel as if I'm held to a higher standard. I feel as if I'm a role model to younger kids in every way. I feel the coaches look at me to lead this team. Like I said, I'm man enough to say that I'm going to take responsibility for it, it was my fault and it shouldn't have happened. With everything that's going on with this university right now we don't need another distraction.
Q: What's going to happen now with you and Drake?
A: Right now I'm just focusing on my health. That's what Coach Bradley was talking about and the doctors, just focus on my health, making sure I do well on the concussion tests and I'm able to get back into playing mode. Once I'm healthy enough to play, then we'll see.
Q: Are you out for the bowl game?
A: As of now, no. Like I said, I have no answers until I take the concussion tests.
Q: What was the root of the whole thing?
A: We were going against the defense in kind of like a pass period. I thought he might have ran a route the wrong way, he might have thought I threw it the wrong way. It's just guys that are emotional about the game of football and couldn't let it go. It happens sometimes. Fights happen all the time at practice. Tons and tons, I can sit here and go all day about guys who fight. This one just happened unfortunately that we landed the wrong way and I ended up smacking my head off the ground.
Q: It's not often, though, that the starting quarterback gets punched out?
A: Well, I didn't get punched out, so you get your facts straight.
Q: So what happened?
A: I just told you guys what happened.
Q: Did you have a seizure?
A: Initially I hit my head off of the ground. Like I said, we were on our way to the ground -- I don't know how many times I can say it was a freak accident. I smacked my head, I don't remember anything else. Whether or not another hit was thrown while I was on the ground or not or what the seizure came from -- maybe just hitting my head at the right spot -- I don't know. But I did suffer a seizure from it. But I feel pretty well right now. We're going to do some concussion tests this week, and hopefully I'll be able to start practicing again.
Q: Where were you guys?
A: It was in the locker room.
Q: Did you hit your head on something hard?
A: Just the ground. It's a thin carpet we have in there, and I guess we just went down with enough force to do the job.
Q: Did you take a concussion test today?
A: I took a test yesterday. … I did very well on the mental part, but I don't think physically I'm back to where I should be in terms of my balance, vision, things like that. But like I said, after you hit yourself or being hit unconscious and suffering a seizure, it's going to take time, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes for the team and the university to get back and be ready for the bowl game.
Q: Have you and Curtis made amends?
A: We're trying to get in touch with each other. It was a little rough yesterday. We were talking with a few of the coaches, so it was kind of tough. I was with the doctors for a while, so I haven't actually seen him yet. I was only at practice for a little while yesterday because of a doctors' appointment. But like I said, we're friends, we're good friends with each other. It was just two emotional guys, and it was just another football fight that ended badly.
Q: How do you feel about having your status for the bowl game in question?
A: It's a tough pill to swallow. As of now I still feel as I'm going to play in it. I'm going to do my best to get back to full health. I know the doctors are going to do their best to try to get me back to full health.
Q: When you do talk to Curtis, what will you say to him?
A: It won't be a long conversation. We'll laugh it off, we'll be, hey man, that happens. It was a freak accident, what are you going to do?
Q: If you can't play, where do you see the quarterback position?
A: The coaches are probably going to go with Rob; he has more experience than Shane. Both guys are kind of working in and out now, splitting reps again. But like I said, I expect to play in the bowl game.
Q: Were you out cold at one point?
A: Absolutely, yeah. Like I said, it was no longer than 10 seconds. We grabbed each, we were kind of moving around and we both went down. I guess we both went down with enough force, and I just, my shoulder hit the ground first and I don't know if my head snapped with it. That's the last thing I remember. The next thing I remember is waking up in the stretcher. It was just the way I landed, and it really wasn't anybody's fault.
Q: How concerned are you about this kind of thing tearing apart the team?
A: Any time a team loses the starting quarterback it's tough?
Q: No, the fight, having the quarterback in a fight with the receiver and the chemistry aspect of the team.
A: I don't see a problem with it at all. Like I said, fights happen between offensive linemen, defensive linemen, offense and defense fight -- it happens on a regular basis. We wouldn't even be talking about this if I didn't fall the wrong way and smack my head. That's the way I feel about it. In my mind it's over right now. We're going to move on from it.
Q: Have you had concussions before, here or in high school?
A: No, this is the first one where I've actually been knocked unconscious. It wasn't a pleasant experience, but the doctors are willing to work with me, and I'm willing to work with them to try to get back to 100 percent.
Q: You knew you were going to get grilled with questions, so was there a decision about whether to meet the media?
A: You guys are doing your job, you deserve to know what's going on here with Penn State football. And we're going to give you that. I don't have a problem telling the story because -- this is probably the fourth or fifth time I've said it -- this was a freak accident, and these things happen. I don't dislike Curtis any more or like him any more because of what happened. It was an accident, these things happen and you have to deal with it.
Q: How embarrassing is this to the image of the program considering everything you guys have been through?
A: I'm going to take responsibility for it. It was immature, this incident was ill-timed, it should not have happened. I should have just walked away from it. To put Coach Bradley in this position, the man's been through enough, and my heart breaks for him, and we're going to do the best we can to try to fix this.
Q: Have you had a seizure before?
A: No, which is why they're saying it's probably just caused from the head trauma. I don't have a seizure problem. All the tests were negative. Vitals were good, blood was good, CT scan was good.
Q: How often do you get tested with the concussion tests?
A: We're going to do some more tests here, some more tests on it at school, some more when I get home, just to make sure everything's perfect and make sure it's 100 percent that I'm capable of playing.
Q: Did Curtis try to apologize to you when he came up to you in the locker room directly before the altercation?
A: I was sitting at my locker, and he came over toward me, and as a competitor and as just the person I am, I'm not going to back down from somebody if I don't know what he's 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, we kind of just rolled around up top for a while and I guess our momentum just carried us to the floor. As my shoulder hit, my head came with and lights out.
Q: Which shoulder?
A: It was the left shoulder. Just a bruise, nothing too major.
Q: When Curtis called you, was there a message?
A: Just a missed call and a text message, that's all. I gave him a call back, but it was a tough day yesterday being that I was pretty much with the doctors and going over some things.
Q: Were there some players who didn't want to go to the bowl game?
A: Early on … there were some mixed emotions, obviously. I think that was just probably because guys were upset with what bowl we got. But once things calmed down and we realized we've got an opportunity to play a great football team in Houston in a good bowl, we wanted to go and we wanted to prove to the country that we were able to get to 10 wins.
Q: If Shane McGregor were to have to start, what would we see from him?
A: Shane would be able to control the game. He might not be the type of quarterback that could go out there and throw the ball 30 times a game for you. But he's definitely the person that can go out there, make the right decisions and move the offense. Shane's a great mind, and that's why he plays the quarterback position, that's why he's good at what he does. If Shane were to play, we would be pretty confident in him.
Q: How did you explain what happened?
A: The word fight doesn't even cross my mind when I think of it. I think of a scuffle for no longer than 10 seconds in which a freak incident happened with us both going to the ground and unfortunately me landing on my head.