The NCAA decided on Tuesday to restore some of the 20 annual football scholarships to the Penn St. University football team which were stripped from the program in July 2012 the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse case.
In a statement released by Penn St. the university said "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 had reduced the number of scholarship players Penn St. was able to field from 85 to 65 in the wake of the conviction of former long-time defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and the Freeh report, which indicated systemic covering up of Sandusky's sexual abuse against young boys by senior university officials over a period of as many as 13 years.
The restoration of scholarships is an indication of the NCAA's satisfaction with reforms implemented by Penn St.. The university claims that it has implemented 115 of the 119 recommendations in the Freeh report. Head football coach Bill O'Brien initiated the restoration when he approached the university's board of trustees and asked them to appeal to the NCAA for a reduction in the sanctions.
As of the time of this posting, Penn St. is still ineligible for postseason football this season as well as the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The Nittany Lions are 3-1 in non-conference play in 2013 and will kickoff the Big Ten portion of their schedule on October 5th at Indiana.