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NCAA Restores Penn State Football Wins

Penn State has its vacated football wins back. In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal, the NCAA took away the team’s wins under Joe Paterno from 1998 to 2011. The restoration is part of the settlement of a lawsuit brought by a Pennsylvania state senator.

The lost wins and a 60 million dollar fine were among the last remaining sanctions agreed to by Penn State in a 2012 consent decree to avoid a complete shutdown of the Football program. A bowl ban, scholarship reductions, and other sanctions were repealed last year.

The settlement comes in response to a lawsuit by state senator Jake Corman. In the course of Corman’s lawsuit, emails were uncovered between NCAA officials saying they were bluffing about having the power to sanction Penn State. And just yesterday documents revealed that then NCAA chairman Ed Ray had not read the Freeh report, which the sanctions were based on. Senator Corman called the repeal of the consent decree a complete victory.

“Today is a victory for due process, which was not afforded in this case," said Corman. "Today is a victory for the people of Pennsylvania. Today is a victory for Penn State nation. The NCAA has surrendered."

The Penn State board of trustees voted unanimously to ratify the settlement, under which the university will still commit $60 million for the prevention of child abuse within Pennsylvania.

In a press release, the Paterno family called the agreement a “great victory for everyone who has fought for the truth in the Sandusky tragedy.”

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