Paterno suspends players for Saturday's game vs. Oregon State

Updated: September 5, 2008, 12:37 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Penn State players Maurice Evans, Abe Koroma and Andrew Quarless will miss Saturday's game against Oregon State after police found marijuana in their apartment earlier this week, Penn State coach Joe Paterno said on his radio show Thursday night.

University police seized marijuana from an apartment shared by Evans, Koroma, Quarless and cornerback A.J. Wallace, who Paterno said was not involved in the incident and will be allowed to play Saturday against the Beavers.

No charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing, Lt. Bill Moerschbacher of the Penn State university police wrote in an e-mail to ESPN.com.

"Wallace was really not part of that situation, but Evans and Quarless and Koroma were," Paterno said on the show. "It's unfortunate. We preach, preach, preach and they stepped out of line. They deserve what they're going to get. Whatever that's going to be, I don't know. My feeling on all of this is they have a responsibility to the program, they have a responsibility to themselves, to their family.

"They have responsibility to their teammates. And if they do something as dumb as it appears they did, and I'm not saying if they did or they didn't yet, but even being close to that kind of thing, I'm not going to play any one of those three kids this weekend."

Penn State president Graham Spanier, in an e-mailed statement, said: "I support Coach Paterno's disciplinary actions against the members of the football team who not only broke team rules but also violated the expectations that Penn State has for its student athletes. Character and social responsibility are important values at Penn State that we will continue to emphasize."

Police were called to the apartment Tuesday night after reports of a loud party. They obtained a search warrant and found a small amount of marijuana.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that warrant listed only Wallace and Quarless as residents who were present during the search.

Evans, a first-team All-Big Ten selection, and Koroma are starters at defensive end and defensive tackle, respectively.

Quarless, a reserve tight end, was suspended for spring practice following a DUI arrest on March 2. He was cited for DUI, failing to stop at a red light and buying alcohol as a minor. The judge sentenced him to a 15-month rehabilitation program, according to the court records.

"They're all three good football players, they're not bad kids," Paterno said. "But you pay for it when you do dumb things. It's something that they'll be living with. … I feel sorry for them and I wish I could do something besides saying, 'You're going to sit out this week, 'til I get all the information.' Because I don't have it all."

The suspensions are the latest in a series of off-field problems for Penn State. Paterno dismissed defensive tackles Phil Taylor and Chris Baker earlier this summer for their involvement in off-field incidents. Penn State also announced cornerback Willie Harriott has been dismissed from the team for an unrelated issue. In November, Harriott, of New Haven, Conn., was arrested for driving under the influence and speeding.

Adam Rittenberg covers the Big Ten for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.