NCAA: Penn State eligible for bowl, full scholarships in 2015-16
By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer
September 8, 2014 2:35 pm ET
Penn State is eligible for postseason play in 2014.Penn State is eligible for postseason play in 2014. (USATSI)
Penn State will be eligible to compete for a bowl game in 2014, after the NCAA immediately restored the program's postseason eligibility.
"Due to Penn State University's significant progress toward ensuring its athletics department functions with integrity, the NCAA Executive Committee today eliminated the school's postseason ban, effective immediately, and will return the full complement of football scholarships in 2015-16," the NCAA announced in an official release.
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The NCAA Division I Board of Directors and presidents from the Big Ten conference met prior to an official vote on the recommendation from Senator George Mitchell, Penn State's appointed athletics oversight monitor. There Mitchell briefed the group on his findings that were detailed in the release of his report on Monday.
Penn State is off to a 2-0 start to the season after victories against UCF and Akron. The Nittany Lions open Big Ten play at Rutgers on Saturday.
The news not only makes Penn State eligible for a bowl game, but also for the Big Ten title game.
"Following our briefing with Senator Mitchell, the COPC [Council of Presidents and Chancellors] reached consensus agreement to support his latest recommendation and also agreed to restore the school's eligibility for the Big Ten Football Championship Game, which ran concurrently with the NCAA postseason bowl ban” Iowa President Sally Mason, COPC chair, said Monday. "We support the NCAA announcement acting on that recommendation, thank Senator Mitchell for his dedicated service and appreciate Penn State's ongoing commitment to improvement."
The Big Ten East is an uphill climb in 2014 with Michigan State and Ohio State as the favorites, but both of those teams have to visit Happy Valley before claiming a division title.