NCAA Lifts Penn State Sex-Abuse Sanctions

George Mitchell's report says school is making progress
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 8, 2014 3:49 PM CDT
NCAA Lifts Penn State Sex-Abuse Sanctions
Former US Sen. George Mitchell speaks after the unveiling of his portrait, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, at the State House in Augusta, Maine.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

The NCAA today lifted the on-the-field sanctions placed on the Penn State football team for the Jerry Sandusky scandal, including immediately eliminating the postseason ban and restoring scholarships. Penn State was halfway through a 4-year postseason ban handed down during the summer of 2012. The NCAA rescinded some of the scholarship sanctions last year. In a news release today, the NCAA says that in addition to the postseason ban being lifted, Penn State will be allowed to have the full complement of football scholarships in 2015. The school still must pay a $60 million fine, 112 wins under Joe Paterno remain forfeited, and the school will remain under monitoring.

The decision by the NCAA's Executive Committee followed a recommendation by former US Sen. George Mitchell, whose second annual report as Penn State's athletics integrity monitor concluded the university was in compliance with a 2012 agreement and consent decree. Mitchell said the school had made progress toward implementing a new human resources system, "fostering an ethical culture," and improving security at its sports facilities. He also noted negative incidents with student athletes—like allegedly harassing a parking officer and refusing to leave a fraternity party—and said he wanted to relieve sanctions partly for student football players who stayed with the team despite having no chance to play in a bowl game. See his full report at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (Or read about Penn State hazing linked to a freshman's suicide.)

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