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Nitt Picks Sings Like A Jaybird

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Navorro Bowman wants to know if you can spare a dime.

Suspended Penn State backup linebacker Navorro Bowman has filed court documents asking for funds from Centre County Court to hire a private investigator to help defend him against charges he was involved in an October assault on campus.

Does anyone have Magnum P.I.'s number?

But that's not the interesting part. Skip ahead in the article a bit to this part.

In the HUB incident, police listed defensive tackle Phil Taylor as a "participant" in the assaults in their criminal complaints against Baker and Bowman.

Despite a number of football players identifying Taylor as a participant in the fight, Taylor has not been charged. Prosecutors said that was because the witnesses against Taylor were other football players who would likely assert their Fifth Amendment rights if called to testify.

That article came out on Saturday. Apparently something changed since then, because today Phil Taylor was arraigned in Centre County court.

Nittany Lion Phillip Taylor was arraigned today on aggravated assault and other charges in connection with an Oct. 7 altercation that police said involved numerous football players.

Taylor, a defensive tackle who sources say was suspended from the football team in Februrary pending resolution of academic and off-field issues, is charged with aggravated assault, a felony, simple assault and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors, and harrassment , a summary offense.

Here's what I don't understand. Baker, Bowman, and Timmons were charged in this months ago. Why all the sudden is Taylor being dragged into court? What changed? Then there's this little nugget in the article.

According to court documents, both Nittany Lion Chris Baker and the victim have identified Taylor as throwing one of the punches during that altercation.

It sounds to me like Chris Baker has decided to start singing.

The team has quietly addressed Baker's situation by holding a players-only meeting after the season, at which his troubles were discussed, Baker's mother, Jackie, said. Chris Baker would not comment about what happened in the meeting, but his mother said the players who have not yet admitted their involvement in the fights said they would step up and accept punishment.

If those players do claim responsibility for involvement in the fights, it is unknown whether it would impact Baker's case. Baker's attorney, Karen Muir, declined to talk about the specifics of his case in a telephone interview.

So far, no one has publicly come forward.

"I get upset sometimes because some of them that did participate in the fighting didn't get caught, and none of them has stepped up and manned up to say, 'it was me and not him,' " Baker said in a recent interview at his off-campus apartment. "So it's cool. At the end of the day, it's going to come out."

Everyone is saying we need to stay out of trouble this spring in order to stay focused on the 2008 season. The problem is we apparently still have some unresolved dirty laundry still hanging around from 2007. So maybe Joe knew what he was doing in suspending Bowman, Baker, Taylor, and Timmons. Some of these guys appear to be willing to let others take the fall for them, and the ones under the heat are willing to drag others down with them in order to get themselves off. This thing has the potential to tear the team apart, so maybe it's a good thing these guys aren't currently on the team.

Etc. - Former Pittsburgh Steeler coach Bill Cowher has been spotted around campus lately. FYI, I received independent confirmation back in February that this was true. I didn't report it at the time because I didn't think it was news worthy. I think I have a better chance of being named the next Penn State head coach than Bill Cowher, but it makes for interesting offseason blog fodder nonetheless.