NCF Nation: Willie Harriott
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Penn State has got to be thinking: What's next?
Star defensive end Maurice Evans, defensive tackle Abe Koroma and tight end Andrew Quarless won't play Saturday against Oregon State after police seized marijuana from their apartment earlier this week, coach Joe Paterno announced Thursday night on his radio show. A fourth player who lives in the apartment, cornerback A.J. Wallace, was not involved in the incident and can play against the Beavers (ABC, 3:30 p.m.).
Paterno also said cornerback Willie Harriott has been dismissed from the team for unrelated reasons.
Remember, no charges have been filed and the situation is still under investigation. However, this doesn't look good for a Penn State program already under fire for a string of off-field incidents. Paterno dismissed defensive tackles Chris Baker and Phil Taylor earlier this summer for their involvement in off-field incidents, but players insisted the team had moved forward from its problematic past.
Paterno's control of the program will once again come into question after the suspensions. The incident took place late Tuesday/early Wednesday, just days before a critical game. Now the Lions will be without Evans, their top pass rusher and most dynamic defender, and fellow starter Koroma, who plays a position where depth is a concern. Quarless, a promising tight end, has had previous disciplinary issues, so he could be in the most trouble.
It will be interesting to see how Penn State responds to this latest bout with adversity.