Quarterback Matt McGloin still isn't practicing because of a concussion, receiver Curtis Drake is still on the team but will not be in Dallas for next week's bowl game and once-heralded quarterback recruit Paul Jones still isn't academically eligible.
Penn State's off-the-field issues figure to have a big impact on the field during Monday's TicketCity Bowl against Houston. Along with the news above came word Tuesday that receiver Shawney Kersey will miss the game for undisclosed reasons and cornerback Derrick Thomas is academically ineligible.
Interim head coach Tom Bradley met the media Tuesday in Dallas and said Drake and Kersey aren't on the bowl trip for personal reasons but did not elaborate.
"They're still on the team, they're just not on the trip," Bradley said in a video interview posted at gopsusports.com.
Drake and McGloin were involved in a locker room brawl Dec. 17 that resulted in McGloin suffering a seizure and concussion after hitting his head on the ground. McGloin has yet to be cleared to practice, and his status for the game remains up in the air. Bradley said the quarterback will continue to be evaluated every day by team doctor Wayne Sebastianelli.
If McGloin can't play, Rob Bolden is expected to start for the Nittany Lions.
Drake explained why he is not participating in the bowl game to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"Basically after the incident with me and Matt, I was tired and I just needed to step back and take a break," he told the newspaper.
"There was too much going on. There wasn't really one thing I can pinpoint, just a bunch of things, so I decided not to go."
Drake had been utilized more in wildcat packages late in the season, so that element of the offense could be minimized in Monday's game. Receiver Bill Belton also can run the wildcat.
There had been hope that Jones might be able to play in the bowl game after missing the regular season because of academic issues. Bradley said last week that Jones would be eligible to play if his grades during the recently completed semester were good enough, but Jones did not meet the requirements.
Other issues Bradley discussed Tuesday in Dallas:
* On the coaching search front, Bradley said, "We haven't heard a thing about it. [School officials] said they weren't going to decide until after the bowl game.
"Everybody makes a bigger deal than I think it is," Bradley, who did interview for the job, added when asked about the difficulty of having to wait out the process.
No matter what happens, Bradley reiterated his stance that he just wants to do the best job he can for the players while he's the interim coach.
"I've got a bunch of players here dying for me, doing everything I ask them to do," he said. "And as I told people from the get-go, whatever happens, I'm going to hang in there until the last minute and do everything I can for my players."
* Bradley confirmed what most expected with regards to Penn State assistant coaches getting contacted by other schools.
"I think a lot of us have been contacted by other schools," he said. "I'm not naive enough to think that they haven't. I've got a heck of a good coaching staff here, and people would be very foolish not to call and contact them."
* Bradley said he's heard from a lot of people throughout this ordeal who have given him advice. But he once again noted he still has yet to speak with Joe Paterno since taking over as interim coach in early November.
Bradley has talked with quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno about his father's health but said those conversations were personal and didn't provide any details.
* Speaking about his Christmas break, Bradley joked, "I didn't get a whole lot of personal time. Santa wasn't real good to me this year."
* Asked about Houston, Bradley said, "We have not played anybody like them the way they move the football. That's a whole different animal."
He added that the keys on defense will be keeping the Cougar receivers in front of them, making open-field tackles and not giving up the big play.
* With Paul Jones out, place-kicker Evan Lewis has been playing Houston quarterback Case Keenum on PSU's scout team.
* Running back Silas Redd and linebacker Khairi Fortt were a little late getting to Dallas on Monday night because of an airplane issue in Connecticut.