'Aunt' labels ousting unfair


By Mark Viera Daily Collegian

January 28, 2008

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA (UWIRE) --

A family member of Knowledge Timmons said his recent dismissal from the Penn State football team is unfair because other players on the team, like starting safety Anthony Scirrotto, have continued to play despite pending legal matters.

Joan Flowers, who helped raise Timmons and calls herself his aunt, said Timmons, along with Chris Baker and Navorro Bowman, was kicked off the team on Thursday.

Team spokesmen Jeff Nelson and Guido D'Elia confirmed Thursday that three players had been "excused" from the team but did not say who or why. D'Elia declined to respond to Flowers's comments, and Nelson did not immediately return cell phone messages left yesterday.

Flowers said that though Timmons might be able to rejoin once lingering legal problems are resolved, she is still upset.

"Scirrotto ain't missing none; he didn't miss any games," Flowers said yesterday in a telephone interview. "... Everything's still peachy keen. Yet they're treating Knowledge like he's Michael Vick and he's got the dogs in the backyard."

Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno did not return cell phone messages left yesterday.

Paterno suspended Timmons, Baker and Bowman for Penn State's final regular season game against Michigan State and then for the Alamo Bowl in connection with an Oct. 7 fight in the HUB-Robeson Center. Baker and Bowman were charged with aggravated assault, harassment and stalking, simple assault, and disorderly conduct. Timmons was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and defiant trespass.

For Baker, it was his second felony charge. He is still charged with criminal trespass, harassment, simple assault, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct from an April 1 fight at the Meridian II apartment complex, 646 E. College Ave. Timmons's name was also listed on the police report for the April 1 fight but he was not charged.

The loss of Baker, a defensive tackle, and Bowman, a linebacker, would be a big blow to Penn State's defense. Baker emerged this season as one of Nittany Lions top defensive linemen, finishing with eight-and-a-half sacks. Bowman, who missed time this year with a sprained ankle, shared time with Tyrell Sales and is one of the most athletic returning linebackers.

Timmons, however, has only played sparingly on special teams.

Flowers said there hasn't been fair treatment because she thinks Paterno favored certain players he "needed on the field." Scirrotto, who is facing a felony criminal trespass charge and a summary harassment charge stemming from the April 1 fight, started every game this season.

Scirrotto and Baker were both expelled from the university's second summer session.

"I'm not saying he shouldn't be penalized for the trouble he gets into," Flowers said of Timmons. "I think everybody should just pay the price. You can't just pick and choose. I don't care if they're starting. If you punish one person, you punish them all."

A recent background search on Timmons revealed several minor violations and traffic incidents since Sept. 2005. It is unknown whether these legal scrapes influenced Paterno's decision to remove Timmons from the team.

Timmons pleaded guilty this summer to criminal mischief. Court records also show a number of traffic-related infractions. Timmons has been cited four times for driving with a suspended license, has been pulled over twice for speeding, once for running a flashing light and once for disregarding a traffic device. He accrued the offenses near Penn State and near his home in York.

"I know Knowledge has been getting into little things here and there since he's been there," Flowers said. "I know he's not an angel by a long shot, but I also know that [Paterno has] got other players that have gotten into other things. You deal with them; you deal with them fairly and equally. That's the way I see that. But I know [Paterno is] going to run the team the way he wants."

In addition to aforementioned charges, Baker had a citation, which was dismissed, for driving an unregistered vehicle last June. Background searches of Bowman and Scirrotto yielded no other known incidents with police.

Willie Harriott, a reserve defensive back has also found trouble this year. He was cited Aug. 17 for underage drinking, and then on Nov. 11, he was charged with DUI and registered a blood-alcohol content of .16, double the legal limit, police said.

"When [Paterno] talked to me, he was saying all the problems Knowledge had, so he could be factoring them all in," Flowers said. "I'm not up there, so I don't see things for myself, but I know you have other players that have got into other mischief."

(C) 2008 Daily Collegian via UWIRE

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