Manny Bowen’s return to the Nittany Lions ends prior to Saturday’s opener

By Derek Levarse - [email protected]
Linebacker Manny Bowen was still with Penn State on team picture day Aug. 18 but won’t play for the Nittany Lions in 2018. - Joe Hermitt | AP photo, The Patriot-News

Manny Bowen’s return to the Nittany Lions lasted less than a month.

The senior linebacker, who had been reinstated to the squad at the start of training camp, is no longer with the team, according to Penn State. Lions247 first reported the departure, which is Bowen’s second and presumably final exit from the program.

Bowen was not listed on the Lions’ roster when the team released its first game notes for the season on Monday afternoon. He had previously been practicing with the team and was with the rest of the Lions on Aug. 18 for team photo day.

The New Jersey native had suspended once for the Rose Bowl at the end of the 2016 campaign and then suspended again for the final three games of the 2017 regular season before being dismissed outright last December prior to the Fiesta Bowl. Penn State attributed the discipline to unspecified “violations of team rules.”

His return officially came at the start of August when Penn State opened practice — but with some caveats from the coaches.

“We created some stipulations for Manny to achieve from the time he left the program,” Lions coach James Franklin said at the time. “And if he lived up to his end of the program, then he would have an opportunity to earn his way back on the roster.”

Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Pry called it a “laundry list of things to kind of earn his way back and gain some trust” and emphasized that he was proceeding as though Bowen weren’t available to play.

“In my mind, I’m not planning on Manny Bowen right now,” Pry said. “With what we know, the information we have, that’s the way this thing’s playing out right now, and if things change, we’ll take another look at it.”

Midway through camp, Franklin said that Bowen would not be considered for a starting job in Saturday’s opener against Appalachian State regardless of his work in practice.

In a linebacker corps short on playing experience from top to bottom, Bowen brought 21 career starts and appeared in 35 games during his first three years on campus. He was expected to eventually push for reps at middle linebacker.

Penn State did not release a depth chart on Monday and typically publishes the first one on the Tuesday before the first game when Franklin holds his weekly press conference. That is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

Linebacker Manny Bowen was still with Penn State on team picture day Aug. 18 but won’t play for the Nittany Lions in 2018.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_AP18230850646433_ne201882716445248.jpgLinebacker Manny Bowen was still with Penn State on team picture day Aug. 18 but won’t play for the Nittany Lions in 2018. Joe Hermitt | AP photo, The Patriot-News

By Derek Levarse

[email protected]