UNIVERSITY PARK -- Matt McGloin called the whole thing a "freak accident," not a fight, and Penn State's quarterback took full responsibility for a locker room altercation Saturday with receiver Curtis Drake.
McGloin and Drake argued during practice after miscommunicating on a pass play, then they later grappled in the locker room. The two fell to the floor, and McGloin suffered a seizure and concussion after hitting his head on the ground.
"I'm willing to take full responsibility for it," McGloin said during Penn State's bowl media day Monday. "I may not have started it, but as a quarterback for this university, I should be held to a higher standard. It should not have happened. I should have walked away from it."
McGloin was taken out of the locker room on a stretcher and briefly admitted to Mount Nittany Medical Center for tests. Penn State Police were called to investigate the incident, which McGloin tried to brush off as nothing more than two teammates getting into a scuffle, which he added happens all the time.
"It was just two guys who are emotional about the game got into an argument," he said.
McGloin's playing status for the TicketCity Bowl against Houston on Jan. 2 in Dallas remains unclear because of the concussion. He will continue to undergo tests until he's cleared medically to play.
"Matt's the quarterback, he knows better," Penn State interim head coach Tom Bradley said of the incident.
Tempers flared on the practice field, after McGloin threw a pass intended for Drake.
"I thought he might have ran a route the wrong way, he might have thought I threw it the wrong way," McGloin said.
There were only 10-15 players in the locker room after practice when Drake approached McGloin. Drake was not available for comment Monday, so his side of the story and exactly what he wanted to tell McGloin is unclear.
"I was sitting at my locker, and he came over toward me, and as a competitor and as just the person I am, I'm not going to back down from somebody if I don't know what he's going to do," McGloin said.
"He started walking over, so I stood up. He said something to me. Maybe he said one thing, I thought he might have said another. We kind of grabbed each other, we kind of just rolled around up top for a while and I guess our momentum just carried us to the floor. As my shoulder hit, my head came with and lights out."
The next thing he remembered was "waking up in the stretcher."
McGloin, who said he has never suffered a seizure or concussion before, took exception to a question from a reporter who asked about getting punched out.
"Well, I didn't get punched out, so you get your facts straight," he said.
McGloin has a reputation for being extremely confident and has never been afraid to speak his mind. Even some Penn State fans believe he comes across as being cocky, and a number of them posted messages on the Internet that McGloin simply got what was coming to him.
"For people to say that he had this coming to him, I don't really even know what to say to those guys," receiver Derek Moye said. "I think they need to reevaluate their lives."
Linebacker Nate Stupar said of McGloin, "I don't think we ever had a quarterback this strong-willed. He's a great kid, Drake's a great kid. They just had their moment, and it wasn't the best moment. But it happens."
Stupar also acknowledged that fights take place from time to time on the field but pointed out, "You just can't take the fight into the locker room."
As of Monday morning, McGloin had yet to speak with Drake about the incident. They had exchanged voicemail and text messages Sunday, and Drake was not at practice Monday.
Bradley said McGloin called him and the other coaches and apologized for the incident. The interim coach said he was "alarmed" when he first heard about it and noted McGloin's health was his primary concern.
Bradley said McGloin will face internal discipline and would not confirm whether he would start the bowl game if he's healthy. The school's Office of Judicial Affairs also is investigating the matter, which has brought further scrutiny on the football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.
"It was immature, this incident was ill-timed, it should not have happened," McGloin said. "I should have just walked away from it. To put Coach Bradley in this position, the man's been through enough, and my heart breaks for him, and we're going to do the best we can to try to fix this."
Mirror Staff Writer Cory Giger can be reached at 949-7031 and @CoryGiger on Twitter.