The NCAA announced today that their Executive Committee is "gradually restoring football scholarships" that were taken away from the Penn State football program as part of the sanctions handed down in the consent decree enacted in July 2012. The committee said that the reductions were in response to the first annual report released earlier this month by NCAA monitor (and former US Senator) George Mitchell, in which the university was praised for its work on implementing the reforms recommended in the Freeh Report.
This month's report concluded that, "while parties may continue to argue about the history that led to the Freeh report and the (athletics integrity agreement), a consensus has developed that the principles of the heart of these reforms are best practices for the governance of any large university."
The partial restoration of scholarships will begin with the 2014-2015 academic year, which includes the recruiting class that signs this spring. Originally, this class was to be capped at 15 scholarships, with a total of 65 scholarships allowed in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 year. This has been increased to allow a total of 75 scholarships in the 2014-2015 year, and 80 scholarships in the 2015-2016 year. Beginning with the 2016-2017 year, Penn State will once again be allowed the full allotment of 85 scholarship players on its football roster (a total that was, under the consent decree, not to be obtained again until the 2017-2018 school year.
Read the full NCAA release here, and stay tuned to BSD for any updates.
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