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On This Day In Penn State History

August 10, 1927

The newly organized Board of Athletic Control (modern day Athletic Department) ended all financial aid for student athletes starting with the freshman class of 1928 in attempt to focus more attention on the university's academic reputation. They also recommend athletic officials and coaches "not scout opponents' games regardless of scouting policies of opponents." The results are disasterous setting the football program back 30 years.

Year Record
1928 3-5-1
1929 6-3
1930 3-4-2
1931 2-8
1932 2-5
1933 3-3-1
1934 4-4
1935 4-4
1936 3-5
1937 5-3

Many of Penn State's opponents like Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia, and Bucknell did not adopt similar policies putting Penn State at a serious disadvantage. In 1935 head coach Bob Higgins found a way to get around the university policy by offering players jobs cleaning and cooking for fraternities in order to pay for their educations.

The Penn State administration would continue to deny granting scholarships to athletes until May of 1949 when 100 athletic scholarships are approved by the Board of Trustees. The following year 30 scholarships were set aside exclusively for football. Throughout the 50's and 60's the teams led by Rip Engle and Joe Paterno would work tirelessly to gain respect and return Penn State to the Eastern football power it was prior to 1925.