Police are investigating an incident, possibly involving Penn State football players, that occurred at an off-campus Arts Festival pool party, Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said yesterday.
The news comes the same day Penn State sports information director Jeff Nelson confirmed defensive tackles Chris Baker and Phil Taylor -- both of whom have recently faced legal troubles for separate incidents -- have been removed from the team.
Nelson gave no reason as to why Baker and Taylor were removed and said he wasn't aware of the pool party incident.
Madeira said he was aware of a police investigation into an incident in Patton Township involving football players, but did not know which players were involved.
"I was aware yesterday about an incident at a pool party -- that there was an accusation that it involved football players," Madeira said.
Patton Township Police Chief John Petrick confirmed there was an ongoing investigation into an incident at a pool party at The Pointe, 501 Vairo Blvd., but was unable to provide further details or confirm the involvement of any football players.
Police have not charged anyone in the incident.
When reached by phone yesterday, Baker said he could not comment about his removal from the team. His parents also declined to comment.
Baker did, however, acknowledge an incident in which his pit bull may have injured a child. Though Baker said he hasn't received any official citation, court documents show he was charged July 15 with the summary offense of harboring a dangerous dog.
Baker said he didn't think the dog bit anyone, but said it may have "scratched a kid."
Baker and Taylor, both juniors, were suspended from the team in the spring until academic and off-the-field issues were resolved.
Both players, though, were listed as team members in the fall 2008 media guide, released last week, and Taylor's father said this spring his son was due to return to the team in the fall.
Baker has had several run-ins with the law in the past few semesters. He pleaded guilty in May to three misdemeanors for his role in various fights and is serving two years of probation.
Baker was involved in an April 1, 2007 fight at the Meridian II apartment complex, 646 E. College Ave., and also in another altercation on Oct. 7 at the HUB-Robeson Center, police have said. He pleaded guilty to simple assault and criminal trespass in connection with the Meridian fight and guilty to simple assault in connection with the HUB fight, according to court documents. The plea deal encompassed both incidents.
Taylor was also linked to the HUB brawl, according to the criminal complaint. In May, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge and was sentenced to a year of probation.
Last season, Baker played in 11 games and started in seven. Taylor played in 11 games and started in five. Baker was barred from playing in the November game against Michigan State and in the Alamo Bowl.
Baker had 4.5 sacks last season, while Taylor had three.
Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said Taylor is still suspended from campus until Aug. 15, a sanction handed down in February as a result of his charges in the HUB fight. He is not allowed on campus until his suspension is lifted, she said.
Baker is listed as a student and will be on probation with the Office of Judicial Affairs until he graduates, Powers said.
Collegian Staff Writers Travis Johnson and Josh Langenbacher contributed to this report.