NCAA reduces sanctions following report from integrity monitor
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The NCAA Executive Committee has modified the Penn State football bowl and scholarship limitations previously imposed by the consent decree between the University and the NCAA. The action comes following today’s release of another positive annual report and recommendations by Sen. George Mitchell, the independent, third-party athletics integrity monitor for Penn State.
The Penn State football team will be eligible for a bowl game beginning this season, and scholarship limitations will be restored to the full complement of 85 beginning in 2015. All financial penalties remain in place.
Concurrently, the Big Ten announced Penn State would be eligible to play in the Big Ten Championship game starting this season.
“Senator Mitchell’s report and recommendations, along with the actions taken by the NCAA today, are a recognition of the hard work of many over the past two years to make Penn State a stronger institution,” said Penn State President Eric Barron. “This is welcome news for the University community, particularly for our current and future student-athletes."
This is the second annual report issued by Mitchell, who was named by the NCAA as the independent monitor for Penn State to oversee the Athletics Integrity Agreement signed by Penn State, the Big Ten and the NCAA. He has provided quarterly updates to the University and general public on the University’s compliance with the Athletics Integrity Agreement.
“This report is a welcome acknowledgement of the University’s efforts,” said Board of Trustees Chair Keith Masser. “Such a massive undertaking has made Penn State a national model in an array of university functions – including compliance, safety and security. I commend President Barron and his predecessor, Rodney Erickson, for their tremendous leadership throughout this process. The Board of Trustees is committed to the continued monitoring and improvement of university policies, procedures and actions.”
“We look forward to continuing to work with Sen. Mitchell,” Barron added.
The full Mitchell report is available at http://www.dlapiper.com/~/media/Files/Insights/Publications/2014/09/NCAAMonitorsSecondAnnualReport.pdf
“I am very happy for Coach Franklin, the coaches and staff and most importantly, our outstanding football student-athletes, said Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour. “I am gratified for the student-athletes who have remained resilient, committed and dedicated to Penn State during the past three years. We will continue to work hard and strive for integrity and academic and athletic excellence every day and to provide our student-athletes with the best experience possible.”
Penn State football coach James Franklin expressed his gratitude as well.
“We are very appreciative of the opportunities the NCAA and Big Ten have provided with today’s announcement,” Franklin said. “This team plays for each other. We play for Penn State, our families, the former players, our students, alumni, fans and the community. We are so proud to represent Penn State and the Big Ten Conference and are working hard to prepare for our Big Ten opener at Rutgers.”
Barron also praised students and coaches for their efforts.
“Our student-athletes and our entire student-body are to be commended for their resiliency and spirit during a challenging time,” Barron said. “We also are grateful for the dedication and commitment to success on and off the field of our football student-athletes, and the leadership of Coach James Franklin and Coach Bill O’Brien before him.”