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NCAA Removes Penn State Football Sanctions

Penn State's Beaver Stadium is usually packed for "Whiteout games," but due to COVID-19 there will be no fans this Saturday.
Emily Reddy

The Penn State football team is now bowl game eligible. The NCAA announced a lift on Penn State’s postseason ban Monday, effective immediately. The news directly followed the release of former Senator and independent monitor George Mitchell’s second annual report on the school’s compliance with sanctions levied after the Sandusky scandal. Mitchell’s review of Penn State’s progress was glowing—he applauded the university’s institution of a new compliance system, which encourages transparency and communication with Penn State leadership.


Mitchell recommended the restoration Penn State’s bowl eligibility for the current season. He also suggested the total reinstitution of football scholarships next year. The NCAA adopted both of these proposals, and stated that if Penn State continues to improve, Mitchell’s oversight could end earlier than expected.


Following the announcement, Penn State President Eric Barron praised the school’s students and coaches for "their resiliency and spirit during a challenging time." Athletic director Sandy Barbour echoed Barron's gratitude, stating that the community will continue to work hard and strive for academic and athletic excellence.


The team's $60 million fine and win vacations still remain in effect....though the NCAA also decided over the weekend let the sanction money stay within the state of Pennsylvania. It says it will end a lawsuit challenging a 2013 Pennsylvania law requiring the money to remain within the state.

Emily Reddy is the news director at WPSU-FM, the NPR-affiliate public radio station for central and northern Pennsylvania.