NCAA to restore Penn State football scholarships

Posted: September 24, 2013 - 1:02pm


Penn State head coach Bill O' Brien , center, waits in the tunnel leading to the field with his team before an NCAA college football game against Central Florida in State College, Pa., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. Central Florida won 34-31. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The NCAA announced plans to gradually restore football scholarships taken from Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, and university officials say they are happy by the decision.

President Rodney Erickson called the news particularly welcome to student athletes who want to attend Penn State "and will now have the means to do so."

College sports' governing body said Tuesday that the school has made significant changes to its athletics programs and cited the recommendation of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who's been serving as the programs' integrity monitor.

The NCAA said five scholarships will be restored next year and more will be phased in until the school reaches normal totals in 2016-17.

Penn State is also paying a $60 million fine and serving a five-year ban on postseason play.