INDIANAPOLIS (CBSMiami) – The NCAA’s Executive Committee has decided to gradually reduce the scholarship penalties against Penn State University for the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
The NCAA said Penn State’s progress toward ensuring athletics integrity helped alleviate the harsh sanctions and that the move was endorsed by the Division I Board of Directors and based on recommendations from George Mitchell, the independent Athletics Integrity Monitor for Penn State.
The breakdown of scholarship additions will work as follows: five additional scholarships will be restored to the school starting next year and will continue to increase by five until the school is back to the full allocation of 25 initial scholarships in 2015 and 85 total football scholarships in 2016.
“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.”
The NCAA’s Executive Committee, along with Mitchell, agreed the postseason ban and $60 million fine to help fund child abuse programs will remain in effect.
But, the NCAA said it may consider additional mitigation of the postseason ban in the future based on Penn State’s progress.
“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.