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Football scholarships to return to Penn State gradually

Photo by David Bergman /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Five football scholarships will be restored to Penn State next year and more will come each year until the university reaches a normal total, said the NCAA Tuesday.

The scholarships had been taken from Penn State last year in the wake of the school’s child molestation scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse. The scandal also resulted in the firing of longtime head coach Joe Paterno.

The yearly restoration of scholarships came from the recommendation of former U.S. Senator George Miller, who has been serving as Penn State’s athletics integrity monitor. It was then endorsed by the Division I Board of Directors.

“Providing relief from the scholarship restrictions will give more student-athletes an opportunity to attend Penn State on athletics scholarship while also creating an incentive for the university to continue its progress under new leadership after President Erickson’s impending departure,” Mitchell said in the press release.

The scholarships are expected to be fully restored by the 2016-17 season. Penn State is in the midst of serving a five-year ban on playing in the postseason.

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