Sanction Reductions Latest Good News For Penn State

<p>The news of Penn State having its bowl eligibility and full scholarship complement reinstated by the NCAA Monday was met with excitement in the recruiting world, but it’s hard to imagine it having a bigger impact than coach James Franklin already had.</p><p>

It gives the current crop of Nittany Lions an on-field goal, but Franklin was already speaking to recruits about returning Penn State to bowl glory, and in the process sold early playing time as a key part in recruiting and helped the program dominate the region in the 2015 class. </p><p>

Still, the news was met with excitement by prospects committed to Penn State. </p><p>

"It’s a great day for Penn State football," Union City (N.J.) High offensive lineman and Penn State commit Steven Gonzalez said. "We get to recruit heavier talent without worrying about scholarship limit. And we get to go bowling, which was exciting." </p><p>

Penn State still has to pay a $60 million fine and the 111 wins forfeited by former coach Joe Paterno remains intact, but the changes to the bowl eligibility and the addition of scholarships were re-instated because of the progress the school made in a report issued by former Senator George Mitchell, who monitors Penn State’s athletic integrity. </p><p>

The move allows Penn State to bring in an additional five member into the 2015 class, but only if the staff chooses to do so.  The 2016 class isn’t expected to be big in numbers, so the staff could save some for that one instead of using them all on the 2015 class. </p><p>

"It’s great that they get their scholarships and bowls lifted," said Whitehall (Pa.) High running back Saquon Barkley, who is committed to Penn State. "With the scholarships and the great job coach does with recruiting, it will take Penn State to the next level." </p><p>

 Prior to the decision, Penn State was banned from bowl games until 2016, and would not have returned to the NCAA limit of 85 scholarships until then as well. </p><p>

"That’s great to hear," four-star Harrisburg (Pa.) Bishop McDevitt running back and NItany Lions commit Andre Robinson said. "We had been hearing rumors about the sanctions being lifted, but now that it actually happening is a big relief. It’ll be great in recruiting. I know in my class they had started to turn guys down because of a lack of scholarships." </p><p>

"As for the bowl games, that’s awesome, especially for the guys there now who were punished for what happened when they weren’t there." </p><p>

Penn State already has 19 commitments in the 2015 class and is ranked No. 7 nationally.</p>p>

"It was very shocking but of course it’s great news and I look forward to seeing PSU compete for the Big Ten Championship now, " Malvern (Pa.) Great Valley defensive end and Penn State commit Ryan Buchholz said. "My friend, Doug Strang, told me right before lifting and we both went crazy because his dad played QB for Penn State." </p>p>

 

Penn State remains in contention for a quartet of big-time prospects in Monoco (Pa.) Central Valley cornerback Jordan Whitehead, Woodbridge (Va.) Hylton offensive lineman Matthew Burrell, Manassas (Va.) Stonewall Jackson defensive tackle Tim Settle and Suffield (Conn.) Academy defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. </p><p>

"It’s great that this happened," Glassboro (N.J.) High four-star receiver and Penn State commit Juwan Johnson said. "I’m thrilled. It’s a major relief for the program." </p><p>