NCAA Lightens Sanctions on Penn State for Sex Abuse Scandal

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 24 2013 5:57 PM

NCAA Lightens Sanctions on Penn State for Sex Abuse Scandal

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Matthew McGloin of the Penn State Nittany Lions fumbles the ball against the Northwestern Wildcats at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.

Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The NCAA announced on Tuesday it will reduce the sanctions placed on Penn State University, imposed as punishment in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.  

The NCAA Executive Committee moved to ease the university’s punishment on the recommendation of former senator George Mitchell, who has served as an independent monitor of the process, because Penn State has “made progress toward ensuring athletics integrity,” according to the NCAA.

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Penn State’s scholarship ban will gradually be reduced, with five scholarships being restored next year and additional scholarships will gradually be restored until the standard 85 scholarship limit is reached in 2016-2017. The $60 million fine imposed on the university to help fund child abuse programs will remain. The school’s four-year postseason ban will also stand, but could be shortened with continued progress, the NCAA said.

Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is currently serving a 30 to 60-year prison sentence for sexual abusing 10 boys, including incidents inside Penn State athletic facilities. Last week, a state appeals court heard an oral argument from Sandusky’s lawyers as part of his request for a new trial.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.