BREAKING: The NCAA Has Dropped Penn State’s Bowl Ban, Restores Full Scholarships In 2015-16

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What a spots news day. The NCAA has announced that it is lifting Penn State’s sanctions in the wake of the 2011 Jerry Sandusky scandal.  Those sanctions included a four-year bowl ban, vacated wins, lost scholarships and a $60 million fine. This means the Nittany Lions will have postseason eligibility effective immediately. It also means that James Franklin will receive all of his scholarships for 2015-2016 recruiting. A lot of people who have closely followed this story over the years argued that the NCAA had no precedent for the sanctions in the first place, as it was punishing student athletes who committed no NCAA violations.

As happy as I am to hear that sanctions that never should have been implemented in the first place have been lifted, there’s no doubt this is going to piss some people off. Fuck Jerry Sandusky and how higher ups at the University handled the that disgusting scandal. May they all rot in prison and go to hell. It’s a stain that Penn State will never erase. But, that said, the student athletes at Penn State didn’t deserve to suffer because of crimes and administrative negligence they had absolutely nothing to do with in the first place.

Onward State…

Here’s the NCAA’s statement:

Due to Penn State University’s significant progress toward ensuring its athletics department functions with integrity, the NCAA Executive Committee today eliminated the school’s postseason ban, effective immediately, and will return the full complement of football scholarships in 2015-16.

The committee’s action endorses recommendations released today by George Mitchell, the university’s athletics oversight monitor, in his latest report.

In addition to the scholarship and postseason participation changes, Mitchell also recommended that if Penn State continues to make impressive progress at the conclusion of the 2015 report, Mitchell’s oversight may conclude substantially earlier than 2017, the date set forth in the original agreement between the NCAA and Penn State.

“Penn State’s commitment to the integrity of its athletics department and its progress toward meeting the requirements of the Consent Decree are clear,” said Northern Arizona President Rita Hartung Cheng, who chaired Monday’s Executive Committee meeting. “We thank Senator Mitchell for his meticulous and exhaustive work over the past two years. Mitchell’s efforts and the dedication of Penn State officials made today’s decisions possible.”

Executive Committee leadership met Monday with the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and presidents from the Big Ten Conference prior to taking a vote on the action. During these discussions, Mitchell briefed the group on his work to date and the university’s compliance with the athletics integrity agreement.

The Board of Directors also accepted Mitchell’s report and endorsed the Executive Committee’s action.

“Penn State has made remarkable progress over the past year,” said Harris Pastides, Board member and University of South Carolina president. “The board members and I believe the Executive Committee’s decision is the right one. It allows both the university and the association to continue to move toward a common goal of ensuring that educating, nurturing and protecting young people is a top priority.”

This is one of the craziest sports news days I’ve seen in a long time.

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