The release of the next report on Penn State’s compliance with the consent decree is pending, and NCAA officials are saying the university could be in position to have the final year of its bowl ban lifted, according to a published report.
The Sporting News is reporting that two NCAA sources have said the university has a “strong case” to have the ban lifted for 2015 if Penn State continues its progress toward implementing recommendations made in the consent decree.
An NCAA spokeswoman declined to comment when reached Tuesday.
Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, appointed to monitor Penn State’s compliance, is expected to release his second annual report at the end of the quarter. Last year, the report was issued in the first week of September.
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The bowl ban was one of the penalties imposed against the university in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal. The university also was fined $60 million and lost scholarships and wins under late head coach Joe Paterno.
Mitchell has been monitoring Penn State’s progress in adopting and carrying out a number of compliance, ethical and security measures for the athletic department. The measures were spelled out in the consent decree with the NCAA, which authorized the sanctions against the university.
In his annual report last year, Mitchell praised Penn State’s progress and recommended the NCAA restore scholarships that had been cut. Mitchell also suggested there would be room for additional sanction reductions if Penn State keeps up the good work.
Mitchell’s second report, which could be out as soon as next week, according to reports, will more comprehensively review Penn State’s progress toward complying with the consent decree and completing long-term projects undertaken in response to the Freeh report, the university’s internal investigation into the Sandusky scandal.
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said last month at the BIG 10 conference’s media days in Chicago that he hopes the NCAA looks favorably on any request from Mitchell to further lessen sanctions.