UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Sept. 8 (UPI) -- The NCAA announced Monday it is restoring Penn State's eligibility for postseason bowl games and reinstated its 85 football scholarships for 2015-2016.
The decision comes after Penn State's athletics integrity monitor, former Senator George Mitchell, D-Maine, released a report Monday with recommendations to reinstate its 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," Michelle Hosick of the NCAA wrote in a statement.
Mitchell further recommended that if Penn State continues on its current trajectory of progress, his oversight may be terminated much earlier than the set date in 2017.
"Penn State's commitment to the integrity of its athletics department and its progress toward meeting the requirements of the Consent Decree are clear," said Northern Arizona President Rita Hartung Cheng, who chaired Monday's executive committee meeting. "We thank Senator Mitchell for his meticulous and exhaustive work over the past two years. Mitchell's efforts and the dedication of Penn State officials made today's decisions possible."
The ban was a punitive action after the school mishandled the scandal surrounding former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, who was accused and later found guilty of child molestation.