Editor's Note: We originally broke these stories as premium content. But we took the premium tag off when Penn State issued press releases on both topics after our initial reports.
The Penn State football team had a squad meeting Monday, tying up some looses ends before the end of the semester. Here is some of what went down, according to our program observers.
Four suspended players -- Chris Baker, Navorro Bowman, Andrew Quarless and Knowledge Timmons -- are now back with the Nittany Lions. Kind of. Head coach Joe Paterno broke the news to the entire team at the meeting.
“They are allowed to be in the [Lasch] building, workout with the guys and eat at training table -- that type of thing,” one observer said. “But they won't be officially back with the team until they prove they can do the right things in school and otherwise through summer. Joe is going to be keeping a close eye on them.”
Translation: The quartet is back with the team. But it is not "official" because Paterno wants to make sure they all walk a straight line between now and the preseason.
All four players had been suspended due to various legal issues. During the suspensions, they were not allowed into the football complex (unless invited by the staff) or to attend the team training table.
Defensive tackle Phillip Taylor remains suspended from the team because he will be serving a suspension from the university covering the two summer semesters.
Update: Late in the afternoon Tuesday, Penn State offered a one-sentence release on this topic. It said: "The five players that did not participate in spring practice are now permitted to work out with the team in the weight room and training facilities. Their playing status remains unchanged and will be reviewed after each of them resolves certain academic and/or legal issues."
FOS stands by its report that Taylor will not be allowed to work out with the team over the summer.
TWO MORE CAPTAINS
At Monday's squad meeting, Paterno announced that the team will have two more captains for 2008. Senior wideout Derrick Williams and senior safety Anthony Scirrotto will represent the offense and defense, respectively.
FightOnState.com broke the news last week that center A.Q. Shipley and defensive end Josh Gaines had been elected captains by their teammates. Also, injured linebacker Sean Lee will also serve as a team captain in 2008.
Penn State made an announcement about all of the captains in a press release later Tuesday.