Penn State’s bowl ban lifted by NCAA

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Courtesy CNN

Courtesy CNN

CNN) — The Penn State football program, which had incurred severe sanctions after the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, received good news Monday when the NCAA ended the Nittany Lions’ postseason ban and scholarship limits.

The NCAA said the reward was because of “Penn State University’s significant progress toward ensuring its Athletics Department functions with integrity,” according to a statement from the executive committee of the collegiate sports ruling body.

Former Sen. George Mitchell, the athletics integrity monitor for the university, made the recommendations in his most recent annual report on the program to the NCAA.

“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,” Penn State President Eric Barron said in a university statement.

A $60 million fine and 13 years of vacated wins of renowned coach Joe Paterno will remain in place.

Sandusky, 70, a former defensive coordinator, was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 boys he met through his charity. He is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term.

But the sanctions against Penn State mostly revolved around an alleged cover-up by the university’s former president, vice president and athletic director.

The NCAA said Monday the team would be eligible for a bowl game this season and next year can grant the full number of scholarships (85).

CNN’s Wayne Sterling and Sara Ganim contributed to this report

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