UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Three of Penn State's top four quarterbacks are dealing with off-the-field issues as the team prepares for the TicketCity Bowl against Houston on Jan. 2 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Redshirt junior starter Matt McGloin suffered a concussion in a scuffle Saturday with wide receiver Curtis Drake in the locker room and has not been medically cleared to return to practice.
Sophomore backup Rob Bolden was cited Monday for retail theft by university police for taking a bottle of Gatorade from a convenience store on campus.
And Paul Jones, a redshirt freshman from Sto-Rox High School who was academically ineligible to play this fall, could be cleared to return for the bowl game if his cumulative grade point average is above 2.0.
It's no wonder interim coach Tom Bradley said he would not name a starting quarterback before the game against Houston.
McGloin, speaking Monday for the first time since the incident, said the scuffle with Drake lasted 10 seconds.
McGloin said he and Drake were jawing on the practice field Saturday and the argument carried over to the locker room in the Lasch Football Building.
Punches were exchanged, McGloin said, and he slipped and hit his head on the concrete floor.
He said he suffered a seizure and a concussion "after being knocked unconscious."
"The next thing I remember is waking up on a stretcher," McGloin said, "and going to the hospital."
McGloin was taken to nearby Mount Nittany Medical Center, and was released later that night.
"I'm willing to take full responsibility -- it was my fault," he said to a crowd of reporters Monday at the team's bowl media day. "I started it, but as a quarterback for this university, I should be held to a higher standard. It should not have happened. I should've walked away from it.
"It was just two guys who are emotional about the game, who got into an argument."
McGloin, who failed a concussion test, said he has not spoken to Drake since the incident. Drake did not practice Monday and was not made available.
Bradley said McGloin, who started the final five games, and Drake "will face internal discipline."
Penn State police and the school's Office of Judicial Affairs are investigating and will report the results as it would for any other student involved in an incident on campus.
Bradley called Bolden's situation a "prank that went awry." Bradley said Bolden returned the $2 bottle of Gatorade unopened, and it won't affect his playing status with the team.
Jones, who has yet to take a regular-season snap in two seasons, was a 2010 U.S. Army All-American and a member of the Post-Gazette's Fabulous 22. He was the star of the 2010 Blue-White Game after throwing two touchdown passes.
He was rated the No. 2 prep quarterback in the country by Scout.com as a senior.
"He could play in the bowl game," Bradley said. "Paul's situation is very unique. I don't think I could get into all of the academic things, but one of the things Paul has to do is raise his [overall GPA] above a 2.0.
"He's going to be over that this semester, but now, if he has to get his [average] above a 2.0 to be eligible to play, and if he gets that, yes, we can play him. He used his redshirt year already last year."
In other news, a school spokesperson said former coach Joe Paterno, who turns 85 Wednesday, was released Sunday from a hospital, where he was treated for a broken pelvis suffered in a recent fall at home. He continues to undergo treatment for lung cancer.
Ron Musselman: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @rmusselmanppg. First Published December 20, 2011 5:00 AM