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Penn State scholarship sanctions
Rich Linde, 24 July 2012

Since there seems to be some some confusion over the scholarship limitations levied by the NCAA against Penn State, I thought I'd add my interpretation of the sanctions  -- see Table 1 -- without muddying the waters even more.

Normally, an FBS school is permitted to bring in 25 new scholarship players per year, not to exceed a total of 85 scholarship players on its roster. "As part of the sanctions agreed on by NCAA president Mark Emmert and Penn State president Rodney Erickson, Penn State football will be limited to 15 scholarships per class from the 2013-2014 academic year through 2016-2017, and cannot exceed 65 scholarship players from the 2014 season through the end of the 2017 season.

"While the 2018 team will be eligible for 85 scholarships, Penn State won't have a team made up of four classes recruited at the usual 25 scholarships until 2020."

Ironically, the draconian scholarship sanctions levied on the USC program established a benchmark for president Mark Emmert and the NCAA. The USC program was docked 10 scholarship players for three years, with a total roster of 75 players permitted. Currently, USC has completed its 2-year bowl ban and is beginning its restricted recruiting limitations that will take place over the next three years.  

According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, Emmert, who from 2004 - 2010 was the president at Washington, is "obviously trying to send a strong message about trying to keep the role of college sports in its proper perspective, something he also talked about often during his time at UW (and which may have played a role in the controversial decision to give Tyrone Willingham one more season)." (Philly.com)

Here's my take on the Willingham controversy and Emmert's role.

Table 1. Penn State recruiting sanctions

Season

New scholarships

Total scholarships

2012

25

85

2013

15

75

2014

15

65

2015

15

65

2016

15

65

2017

25

65

2018

25

85

2019

25

85

2020

25

85

Richard Linde can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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