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PSU players expelled from summer school but can practice

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Two Penn State football players
ordered to stand trial for their roles in an off-campus fight were
expelled from school for part of the summer but will be allowed to
take part in preseason practice.

Defense attorneys for starting safety Anthony Scirrotto and
defensive lineman Chris Baker said Wednesday their clients have
accepted the university's punishment and will be expelled for the
second summer semester, which begins July 3.

The players are scheduled for trial in early August on charges
including burglary, criminal trespass, simple assault and
harassment in connection with a fight on April 1 at an apartment.

Baker's attorney, Karen Muir, and Scirrotto's attorney, Ron
McGlaughlin, said the players will be eligible to participate in
preseason practice, which begins around Aug. 5, a little less than
two weeks before the end of the second summer session.

The sanctions were first reported by the Centre Daily Times.
University spokesman Bill Mahon declined comment Wednesday.

"We haven't completed the process on campus," Mahon said. "We
can't get into a judicial affairs process that is not completed."

Muir also represents linebacker Jerome Hayes and cornerback
Lydell Sargeant -- two players who had criminal charges related to
the same April fight dismissed on May 4. Both players received the
same sanctions as Baker, with Hayes accepting the punishment and
Sargeant appealing, Muir said.

The players would be eligible to play this fall, the lawyers
said. It's unclear if coach Joe Paterno might choose to bench them
anyway -- and whether the fates of Scirrotto and Baker might be
decided at trial.

Charges have also been dropped against linebacker
Tyrell Sales.
It was unknown if he received university discipline, and phone
messages left Wednesday with his family were not immediately
returned.

A prosecutor dropped charges against starting cornerback Justin
King just before the preliminary hearing began. McGlaughlin, who
represents King, said he was unaware of university sanctions
against his client.

Paterno has meted out his own punishment separate from the
university, having ordered the entire team to perform community
service this summer and clean out Beaver Stadium after each home
game this fall.

Meantime, Muir and McGlaughlin were preparing their cases, with
pretrial hearings scheduled for late July.

"I still think Baker has been misidentified ... and that they
have the wrong guy," Muir said.