Washington: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) officials on Monday lifted the final two years remaining on sanctions against Penn State`s American football team over the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia case.
Former Penn State assistant gridiron coach Sandusky was convicted in 2012 on multiple charges of sexual abuse and sex with minors.
After an investigation into the incidents found that Penn State officials concealed key facts about Sandusky`s behavoir from authorities, the NCAA imposed sanctions against the school`s American football team that included a four-year ban from lucrative post-season bowl games, lost scholarships for the program and an athletics integrity monitor to make certain recommended changes were put in place and followed.
But on Monday, the NCAA cut short the penalties and made Penn State eligible for a bowl game this season after a strong report from former US Senator George Mitchell, who had been the school`s athletic integrity compliance monitor.
The Nittany Lions, banned from bowl games the past two seasons, are now eligible for the Big Ten conference championship game as well and next year will have a full slate of 85 scholarships to offer gridiron talent.
Penn State still was forced to vacate all American football victories from 1998 through 2011, pay a $60 million fine and remain on probation through the 2016-17 academic year.
"I am gratified for the student-athletes who have remained resilient, committed and dedicated to Penn State during the past three years," Penn State athletics director sandy Barbour said. "We will continue to work hard and strive for integrity and academic and athletic excellence every day and to provide our student-athletes with the best experience possible."