Posted September 24, 2013

NCAA will reduce scholarship sanctions on Penn State’s football program

Jerry Sandusky, NCAA, Penn State Nittany Lions
Beaver Stadium

Beginning in the 2014-15 academic year, the NCAA will return five scholarships to the Nittany Lions. (Simon Bruty/SI)

The NCAA will gradually restore scholarships to Penn State that were taken away last July as part of the organization’s unprecedented sanctions against the university, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.

Beginning in the 2014-15 academic year, the NCAA will restore five additional initial scholarships to the Nittany Lions football team — which currently has only 15 initial scholarships — and that amount will continue to increase in subsequent years. The reductions to the sanctions were endorsed by the Division I Board of Directors and were based on the recommendation of George Mitchell, the former U.S. senator and the independent athletics integrity monitor for the school.

In a release, Mitchell said that Penn State’s efforts to change the culture within the athletic department prompted the decision.

“While there is more work to be done, Penn State has clearly demonstrated its commitment to restoring integrity in its athletics program,” said Mitchell. “The university has substantially completed the initial implementation of all the Freeh Report recommendations and its obligations to the Athletics Integrity Agreement, so relief from the scholarship reductions is warranted and deserved.”

[...]

“Providing relief from the scholarship restrictions will give more student-athletes an opportunity to attend Penn State on athletics scholarship while also creating an incentive for the university to continue its progress under new leadership after President Erickson’s impending departure,” said Mitchell.

The Nittany Lions will have 20 initial scholarships and 75 total scholarships in 2013-14; 25 initial scholarships and 80 total scholarships in ’15-16; and 25 initial scholarships and 85 total scholarships in both ’16-17 and ’17-18. Full allocation is 25 initial and 85 total scholarships.

In July 2012, the NCAA hit Penn State with a $60 million fine, a four-year postseason ban and a reduction of 10 initial and 20 total scholarships as a result of the “‘football-first’ culture that ultimately enabled serial child abuse to occur.” The school was also forced to vacate all wins from 1998-2011.

Last October, former Nittany Lions assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison for the sexual abuse of 10 boys.

On Tuesday, the NCAA confirmed that the remaining sanctions would remain in effect, but that the Executive Committee “may consider additional mitigation of the postseason ban in the future depending upon Penn State’s continued progress.” The NCAA release explained that the university had made great strides in revamping its oversight.

Penn State has substantially completed the initial implementation of over 120 tasks outlined in the Athletics Integrity Agreement. They have hired their first Chief Compliance Officer and their first Athletics Integrity Officer. Penn State also has taken steps to ensure that there is appropriate oversight of intercollegiate athletics at the highest levels of the University’s leadership.

27 comments
RichardHernandez
RichardHernandez

They should do the same for USC...and the NCAA should put Tennessee and Alabama on probation

Richard B
Richard B

Oh if only they'd been doing steroids or faking grades or illegally recruiting prospects instead of molesting kinds...

MarieCornelius
MarieCornelius

I see the trolls are out again.  There never should have been any sanctions in the first place. The criminal is in prison where he belongs. Attorney General Kane is investigating the real culprits, The Second Mile.  This was never a Penn State issue and certainly not a football issue, just because Sandusky used to be a coach.  That's like saying all of GE should be shut down because one of it's former employees was found guilty of a crime.  Ridiculous!

ElvisHitler
ElvisHitler

Rumor is JoePa also took part in these sick Sandusky activites, that's why it was never stopped. Because the freaking guy in charge was covering his own tracks and when it hit the fan all blame was shifted from JoePa to Sandusky. The entire school sports program should be tore down, you can't tell me the other coaches from other sports didn't know this abuse was going on. It was condoned. Shut down their sports programs to prove a point to the world that this behavior will not be tolerated and keeping silent is just as bad. F you penn st.

NoBiasIntended
NoBiasIntended

Penn State was a safe haven for a man they new was doing despicable things.  Why do you think they never sent this man out as an outcast?  Intuition tells me they were just as sick as he was.  Wouldn't you have to be not to protect children?


Its almost like the governing body of the NCAA is setting themselves sup for failure so "it" can go away to make room for a paid players governing body.

SocalBryan
SocalBryan

So... According to the NCAA, a school will receive the same scholarship reductions for (1) letting a coach molest kids for 15 years and (2) not knowing a kid was getting some cash, behind closed doors, from someone not affiliated with the university. You may not like USC, but they got hosed.

espnrefugee0218
espnrefugee0218

Everything that happened there was terrible...However, the football program should not be buried the way it currently is.  Joe is dead,  Sandusky in jail, the admin facing jail time.... the era is over.  Let the new one come in already and get the dark cloud outta there.  

....I really dont like penn state but id rather watch them recover than continue to dwell in the past.  

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

plus this shows how gutless emmertt is and how much power they are losing and also hey continue to drag there feet on Miami i mean when are they going rule, two years, 3 years from now

SteveRowFla
SteveRowFla

The JoePologists are out in force on this one on other sites.  They act like the abuse happened in a vacuum.  Pathetic.

sarteestmd
sarteestmd

@MarieCornelius Many people at Penn State knew something was going on years before Sandusky got caught. That is called accessory to a crime. They turned their back and allowed vulnerable boys to be violated. Their hands are bloodied.

StevePerry
StevePerry

@ElvisHitler The only reason that's a rumor is because your twisted head just came up with it.  You've also said you think anyone that is a Penn State fan condones child abuse.  Trolling is an art, and you're finger painting.

Daniel19
Daniel19

@Richard--Ramirez  For breaking exactly ZERO NCAA rules? Yeah that'd send a great message. Sandusky was taken care of by the police, as it should be. 

StevePerry
StevePerry

@SocalBryan Slightly off topic, but do people still really believe nobody at USC knew Reggie was getting paid?  Talk about naive.

silverpen00
silverpen00

@espnrefugee0218 Punishment is supposed to be punitive. The sanctions were supposed to send a message that football cannot rule at all costs, especially over the rights of children. Take them away and it's just more of the same.

MDHokiefan
MDHokiefan

@FearDaTusk @MichaelKing1 What administration? The ones that were there for the acts that Sandusky was found guilty for are long gone. The president of the university left a long time ago; all of his staff went along with him. The AD at the time is also long gone. The coach at the time is dead, and his staff is also gone. The guilty party (Sandusky) is in jail for the rest of his life.

So, I repeat the question - who are these sanctions punishing exactly? The kids on the current team (who were in grade school when all of this was going on)?

I'm not a PSU fan, nor alumnus, but I don't see the point in prolonging the punishment. As the NCAA stated, the current administration has made positive steps to show that this won't happen again.

I guess that's just not enough for folks.

FearDaTusk
FearDaTusk

@MichaelKing1"Second, current players shouldn't be punished for past sins"

They aren't , they were free to transfer. Football is a business... like any business they can just take their talents elsewhere or they can stay and suffer/endue the consequences of the shameful administration.

x72
x72

@MichaelKing1 Touched a nerve eh fatboy? Penn St is a disgrace and so are their fans.

Ol' Time Gator
Ol' Time Gator

@MichaelKing1 Pathetic....You just don't get it do you.........that, and people like you are the problem!  The culture is completely corrupt!  Good luck there in "Creepy Valley"