Robert Bolden's father sent the Penn State fan base into a tailspin earlier this week when he told anyone that would listen that his son wasn't happy at Penn State and would seek a transfer to another school. On Tuesday, coach Joe Paterno blocked the transfer by refusing to release Bolden from his scholarship. Since then, things have been in a holding pattern of uncertainty until now.
The Daily Collegian's Audrey Snyder talked to Bolden's high school coach, and he had some reassuring words for a disgruntled fan base.
Of course, this is no guarantee that Bolden will be happy at Penn State in the long term but it appears as though cooler heads have prevailed for the moment, which is probably best for everyone involved. Penn State now returns to its regularly scheduled quarterback competition for the offeseason.
"He’ll be back at Penn State Sunday and in school Monday," Buchanan said in a telephone interview. "He expects to compete for the starting quarterback job and will go through spring practices and everything."
Buchanan met with Bolden on Thursday, and though Bolden was denied his release by Penn State on Tuesday, Buchanan said Bolden made it very clear his intentions are to return to Penn State.
The quarterbacks coach, who regularly keeps in contact with Bolden, said Rob told him during his meeting Tuesday coach Joe Paterno asked Bolden if he was a competitor and wanted to find out if Bolden would stay and compete for the job.
It's important to keep in mind, though, that there is still only one football, and eventually there's not going to be enough of it to go around between Bolden, Matthew McGloin, Paul Jones and Kevin Newsome. It's a good problem to have, but it's still a problem, and it's not going to go away so long as all four players remain on the roster. Ultimately, someone is going to be unhappy with the results of whatever quarterback competition that takes place and someone is probably going to leave Penn State before his eligibility runs out. That's just the way it is.
It's also why a lot of the criticism of the coaches in the past week was probably a bit unfair. While Paterno has acknowledged that he probably should have played Bolden more down the stretch, Bolden or no Bolden, Penn State would have ended up where it is now regardless, with an open quarterback competition. The staff decided to start the quarterback it believed gave it the best chance to win against Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State and Florida and to defer a long term decision for the future of the position until the offseason. Whether it picked the right guy in the moment is up for debate, but if the alternative was to give Bolden more playing time to just to coddle his feelings then, big picture, the staff made the right decision.
It's incumbent upon Bolden to realize that. Even if he had been "the guy" late in the season, or at least "one of the guys" it's likely it would have done little to change the future one way or the other. Time to accept that and prepare for one heck of a quarterback battle.