UNIVERSITY PARK - Brandon Beachum first let the news slip about Stephfon Green at the beginning of media day, and a little while later all of Nittany Nation was wondering exactly what Green had done to get booted from the football team.
"He hasn't been around much, no," Beachum said of his fellow running back, "but we're not sure what the situation is."
Whatever it is, no one at Penn State was talking about it Tuesday.
Offensive coordinator/running backs coach Galen Hall confirmed Green has not practiced at all since fall camp opened but deferred all other questions to Joe Paterno, who stunned a room full of people when he said:
"I doubt that he'll be back."
Several websites had reported recently that Green was in JoePa's doghouse, but nothing had been mentioned about the senior being off the team. Green's name was not listed on the roster released Tuesday.
"Stephfon has had some problems with me, and right now I think for the benefit and especially the good of the football team, it might be better if he backs away right now," Paterno said.
Just like that, it appears the Penn State career is over for a running back who came to campus with great speed and great potential.
Green never lived up to that lofty potential, however, as he gained just 1,085 yards in his three years - with 578 of those coming as a freshman. He entered last season as the backup to Evan Royster but eventually lost that spot to Silas Redd, who will be the lead tailback this year.
Green's career took a bad turn in the 2009 Rose Bowl when he broke his right fibula and ankle in the closing minutes against USC. He was able to return in 2009, gained 319 yards and missed two games with a sprained ankle, then had a big dropoff last season with just 188 yards.
With Green out of the picture, redshirt junior Beachum figures to be Redd's backup, while redshirt sophomore Curtis Dukes also should be in the mix.
There's still no timetable for when a decision will be made to start Rob Bolden or Matt McGloin at quarterback.
"Right now I just don't know which way it's going to go," Paterno said. "I think both kids have done a really good job."
Both players said they are confident they can get the job done, plus both said they don't like the possibility of a two-quarterback system.
Asked if he feels like he's done enough to be named the starter, Bolden said, "Absolutely. I feel like I've won it already. I mean, Matt, he probably thinks the same thing."
When told of Bolden's confident statement, McGloin said, "Good for him. I'm glad he has that confidence. But like I said, he's been playing really well, I've been playing really well, so it's up to the coaches to make that decision."
Bolden said it's been a fair competition in camp, with both he and McGloin splitting reps with the first- and second-team offenses.
Bolden, who threatened to transfer in January and didn't make it clear until the summer that he was committed to Penn State, was asked if he will stay at PSU if he doesn't win the starting job.
"I'm not even thinking of that," he said. "I'm thinking I'm going to be the starter."
As for the two-quarterback system, Paterno has never liked it, and neither do the players.
"Quarterback, only one guy gets to touch the ball in my opinion," McGloin said. "There should only be one quarterback. I think that it's more of a comfort thing than anything. The line will be more comfortable, the wideouts get more comfortable. You don't have to worry Matt throws the ball this way or Rob throws it this way from the wideout's standpoint."
Notes: WR Curtis Drake, who's coming back from a broken leg suffered in March, said he hopes to return to action by week two against Alabama. ... P Anthony Fera was not at media day and is in Paterno's doghouse for undisclosed reasons. He is still on the roster. ... QB Paul Jones said his academic ineligibility is a result of having 28 1/2 credits, which is shy of the 30 required at this point in his academic career. "Yeah, it's frustrating," Jones said. "But I got myself in this mess. I can't point the finger at anybody else." ... Jay Paterno said QB Kevin Newsome, who is no longer on the team, has yet to transfer to another school. "I don't begrudge him that at all (for leaving)," the younger Paterno said. "At least he's honest with himself and honest with us about what he wants to do. And I hope he has a great career because he is a great kid."