A statement on the NCAA web site said:
Due to Penn State University’s continued progress toward ensuring athletics integrity, the NCAA Executive Committee is gradually restoring football scholarships the university lost because of sanctions more than a year ago.
Beginning next academic year (2014-15), five additional initial scholarships will be restored to the university’s football team. This amount will continue to increase until they reach the full allocation of 25 initial in 2015-16 and 85 total football scholarships in 2016-17.
The NCAA also waived a carrot in front of Penn State adding:
“Executive Committee agreed the existing postseason ban, $60 million fine to help fund child abuse programs and other sanctions outlined in the consent decree will remain in effect. However, the group may consider additional mitigation of the postseason ban in the future depending upon Penn State’s continued progress.”
Prior to today’s announcement Penn State had reduced its scholarship total to just under 65, a year earlier than the original sanctions had called for. Today’s announcement is a big boost for Bill O’Brien as the number of Penn State football players on scholarships will look like this now:
- 2014-15 20 75
- 2015-16 25 80
- 2016-17 25 85 (the NCAA limit for football scholarships)
- 2017-18 25 85
The Nittany Lions are off to a 3-1 start this season and will begin Big Ten play at Indiana on Oct. 5.