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Monday, December 29, 2008
Paterno demotes several starters in practice

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

There's a reason why Penn State's Joe Paterno has won more bowl games than any other coach, so it's foolish to question his decisions.

If anything, Paterno's move to demote three starters to the second team in practice shows that the 82-year-old is still very much in charge of his team.

It would be hard not to see defensive end Aaron Maybin, center A.Q. Shipley and guard Rich Ohrnberger in the starting lineup Thursday when Penn State faces USC in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi (ABC, 4:30 p.m. ET). But the three first-team All-Big Ten performers found out that Paterno isn't letting much slide this week. 

"According to the team, Maybin missed the Lions' event at Disneyland on Friday; Shipley and Ohrnberger were late for a breakfast.

Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said Maybin's demotion was related to practice.

'I think coach wanted to make a point,' Bradley said."

Paterno's no-nonsense approach doesn't surprise his veteran players, who have seen it all before. Penn State, by the way, has won its last three bowl games.

"Coach Bradley was talking to me the other day and said, 'It's coming soon [from Paterno], watch out.' And it happened the next day," cornerback Lydell Sargeant said when asked about Maybin and the offensive linemen. "So every year coach Paterno turns on that switch and I think it's good for the team. We realize it's time to start getting down to business."