Penn State postseason ban lifted

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 09, 2014 5:00 AM

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The NCAA restored the Penn State football team’s postseason eligibility on Monday, meaning if the Nittany Lions qualify for a bowl game this season, they will be allowed to participate in it.

According to a press release, the decision was based on recommendations by former Sen. George Mitchell, the athletics integrity monitor.

Penn State will also receive its full complement of scholarships in the 2015-16 academic year and it is eligible to play in the Big Ten championship this season.

The initial ban was levied after the Jerry Sandusky/child sexual-abuse scandal nearly three years ago.

The ban itself was mandated two years ago. Initially, it stated that the football team could not participate in postseason play for two seasons, reduced the football team’s number of scholarships, and directed $60 million to be put in a national fund for sexual-abuse survivors.

“Sen. Mitchell’s report and recommendations, along with the actions taken by the NCAA today, are a recognition of the hard work of many over the past two years to make Penn State a stronger institution,” university President Eric Barron said in a statement. “This is welcome news for the university community, particularly for our current and future student-athletes.”

University of Iowa President Sally Mason, the head of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, said, “Following our briefing with Sen. Mitchell, the [council] reached consensus agreement to support his latest recommendation and also agreed to restore the school’s eligibility for the Big Ten football championship game, which ran concurrently with the NCAA postseason bowl ban.

“We support the NCAA announcement acting on that recommendation, thank Sen. Mitchell for his dedicated service, and appreciate Penn State’s ongoing commitment to improvement.”

— by Jacob Sheyko

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