NCAA agrees to start restoring Penn State football scholarships

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Updated: September 24, 2013

State College, PA (Sports Network) – The NCAA announced on Tuesday that it has
agreed to start restoring scholarships to the Penn State football program that
were lost as punishment following the Jerry Sandusky child molestation
scandal.

Beginning next academic year (2014-15), five additional initial scholarships
will be restored to Penn State’s football team with the amount continuing to
increase until they reach the full allocation of 25 initial in 2015-16 and 85
total football scholarships in 2016-17.

“The goal has always been to ensure the university reinforces clear
expectations and a daily mindset within athletics that the highest priority
must be placed on educating, nurturing and protecting young people,” said NCAA
President Mark Emmert. “The Executive Committee’s decision to restore the
football scholarships provides additional education opportunities and is an
important recognition of Penn State’s progress.”

This action is based on the recommendation of former U.S. Senator George
Mitchell, the independent Athletics Integrity Monitor for Penn State, and was
endorsed by the Division I Board of Directors. Because the Big Ten signed the
Athletics Integrity Agreement, the Executive Committee sought the conference’s
input.

“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.”

Penn State is also serving a five-year postseason ban and was fined $60
million by the NCAA for the administration’s alleged part in the Sandusky
scandal. While the Executive Committee can decide to reduce the postseason
ban, the $60 million fine will create an endowment to help fund child abuse
prevention programs and assist victims of child abuse and likely will not be
reduced.

The Executive Committee expressed its appreciation of Mitchell’s oversight of
the process.

“We would like to thank Senator Mitchell for his meticulous oversight and
guidance throughout this process,” said LouAnna Simon, chair of the Executive
Committee and president of Michigan State University. “His dedication, as well
as Penn State’s commitment to improvement, has paved the way for continued
improvement for the university.”