For the first time, a reputable source is saying that the final year of Penn State's bowl ban may be lifted in the coming weeks or months.
The Sporting News reported yesterday that they have two separate sources within the NCAA that say that as long as former Senator George Mitchell gives another glowing report on the progress Penn State has made in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the school will have a "strong case" for the final year of the four-year bowl ban handed down by the collegiate governing body to be dismissed, meaning the Nittany Lions could play in a bowl after next season. Mitchell's first report last summer gave the NCAA the reason that they needed to reduce the scholarship reduction part of the sanctions.
During the first two years of sanctions that were meant to cripple the Penn State football program, the Nittany Lions would have been bowl-eligible with eight- and seven-win seasons, respectively. While Coach James Franklin doesn't need any more help on the recruiting trail, a possibility of postseason play would only help to incite 2015 recruits to bring their talents to Happy Valley.
A possible reduction to the bowl ban, either for one or both the final two years, have been nothing more than message board theories up until this point. Now, with Mitchell's report due as early as next week and sources within the NCAA aiding the dreams of Penn State fans, the light may be at the end of the tunnel.