October 10, 2007

Lions' leaders stand up

Whether they deserve it or not, Penn State football players have been inundated by questions from the media lately about the Nittany Lions' 'character' 'maturity' and 'leadership' in response to the multiple off-the-field incidents involving team members in the past seven months.

With the confirmed four underage drinking citations and the fallout from April's off-campus fight still ongoing - plus speculation running rampant about other possible troubles - senior captain linebacker Dan Connor addressed many of the issues in a teleconference with the media yesterday.

Unlike head coach Joe Paterno, Connor said he was concerned about the image of Penn State football right now.

"I don't think it's an accurate depiction of the caliber person we have on this team," he said. "We have a bunch of great guys and guys who are not only great football players but great citizens, great students.

"It's tough to see a lot of stuff happening this season because I really don't feel like it does sum up what we are as a team and what we stand for. It's mostly the negative things. It's tough, and they're distractions but we gotta get over them and we gotta keep playing."

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