Believe it or not, we’re almost two years removed from the scandal that rocked Penn State. It was one of the ugliest scandals to ever hit college football and the program has no doubt felt the wrath ever since. But when Bill O’Brien took over the Nittany Lions, it ushered in a new era. The program has done its best to distance itself from the ugliness of all that unfolded, but there’s still work to be done. However, the NCAA must feel that PSU has done all the right things so far, as it announced a plan to restore scholarships to the program on Tuesday.
Starting next season, five scholarships will be re-added to the program. The amount will increase each year and the program will be back to the normal allotted amount of 85 total scholarships by 2016-2017. The NCAA has cited ‘continued progress toward ensuring athletics integrity,’ as its reasoning for restoring the scholarships ahead of the original schedule.
There are also rumors floating around that the $60 million fine and four-game bowl ban against the school, could also be reduced. For now, though, PSU will take anything it can get.
When the original sanctions were handed down, many people thought they were too harsh, based on the premise that the school didn’t commit any ‘football’ violations. The crimes that nameless piece of crap committed were unthinkably terrible, but they were only connected to football because he was a former coordinator and because officials conspired to cover the crimes up.
The program had to be reprimanded, but the mistakes that were committed were more of an ethical/criminal variety, rather than a football variety. The players in uniform and potential recruits had absolutely nothing to do with what was going on behind the scenes, but they were unfortunately lumped into the whole scandal by default.
I think we can all see that Penn State has moved on in a big way from everything that happened, so I believe it’s only fair some of the sanctions are lessened.