Penn State tight end Andrew Quarless has been indefinitely suspended from the football team for the second time in seven months, a team spokesman said last night, declining to offer specifics.
When reached by phone and told of reports about his most recent suspension last night, Quarless said, "That's not true." Pressed further, Quarless said, "Well, I'm going to talk to the coaches about that."
Team spokesman Guido D'Elia would not comment specifically about Quarless' most recent violation, only saying the sophomore would be out for "an indefinite period of time."
Quarless had a breakout first year in 2006, finishing fifth on the team with 21 receptions. Afterward, he was named to 2007's preseason watch list for the John Mackey Award, which is given to the nation's top tight end.
But Quarless was cited for underage drinking only two weeks before the 2007 season began. Coaches kept him off the field for the team's first two games.
Even after his return, Quarless faced competition for his old starting spot from fellow sophomore Mickey Shuler, who established himself as a solid alternative at tight end during Quarless' suspension.
"Shuler's a pretty good football player," Paterno said during an Oct. 16 press conference. "And Quarless better realize that."
Paterno also indicated during that press conference that he felt Quarless needed to work harder on the practice field. He ended up starting the team's last four regular season games.
Outside of Quarless and Shuler, the Nittany Lions have six tight ends listed on their current roster. Collectively, the six players totaled 11 games played in 2007; none of them started a game.
With his suspension, Quarless becomes the seventh player to be indefinitely suspended from the team since August. Running back Austin Scott, defensive lineman Phil Taylor, wideout Chris Bell, defensive lineman Chris Baker, linebacker Navorro Bowman and cornerback Knowledge Timmons are all currently suspended or removed from the team for several reasons.
All but Quarless and Bell are facing criminal charges; however, Bell has been implicated in court documents as having a role in an on-campus fight in October that involved several football players.