Penn State Football: Is Rob Bolden Holding Program Hostage?

Kevin McGuireAnalyst IIJune 3, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Quarterback Robert Bolden #1 of the Penn State Nittany Lions against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

According to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ron Musselman, Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden has stated he is not sure he will still be with Penn State when the 2011 season begins three months from Friday.

"No, I still haven't [decided anything]," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He also declined a chance to further explain his statement.

Bolden was denied a release from his scholarship by Joe Paterno following the Outback Bowl and has remained quiet on his future since. When he has touched on the subject, Bolden has stood firm, saying he is unsure about his future within the program, never confirming he was seeking a transfer or saying he is content to stay in Happy Valley.

With preparations for the season already in the works and the first game of the season just three months away, the fact Bolden has yet to confirm his decision one way or the other is beginning to become an issue.

Cory Giger, who covers Penn State athletics for the Altoona Mirror said on Twitter, "It's June 3, and kid still holding PSU hostage," regarding Bolden's continued indecision. "Ridiculous,“ Giger added.

His reaction is not uncommon within the Penn State community. After a full summer of quarterback indecision surrounding the starting job in 2010, the summer of 2011 is expected to progress without a clear starter named once again,

The two options appear to be Bolden and Matt McGloin, who—through no fault of his own—took the job from Bolden last season following Bolden's concussion.

Why would Bolden be holding the program hostage?

With Bolden holding out on confirming his future, the coaching staff is left wondering what players they will have to choose from at the most important juncture in football.

Bolden and McGloin bring different qualities to the offense, and if Bolden is not in the mix (Paul Jones doesn't appear to be in the running for the starting job), then the offensive coaches could spend more time preparing for a full season with McGloin, curtailing the playbooks to his abilities.

If Bolden is going to stick around, then knowing that for sure would seem to help the coaches add more plays to the playbook.

The loss of Bolden (and expected departure of Kevin Newsome) could also inspire the coaching staff to focus on bringing in a quarterback in the next recruiting class. With Bolden on the roster, the urgency to sign a quarterback is lowered.

It's possible Jones might contemplate his future if Bolden sticks around. Jones has plenty of talent to allow him to compete for playing time at most programs, and if Bolden stays at Penn State, there is a chance Jones would explore one of those other opportunities elsewhere.

Bolden ultimately needs to choose what is best for him, but it would be nice if he (and Penn State) could figure things out soon so everyone can move on one way or another.


Kevin McGuire is the national college football writer for Follow his college football discussion on Twitter  @KevinOnCFB.