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Penn State’s O’Brien pleased scholarships restored


Bill O’Brien will soon have a few more scholarships to offer when he hits the recruiting trail.

He also has more reasons to stick around State College and finish his contract at Penn State.

On Tuesday, the Nittany Lions got some rare good news from the NCAA, which will restore some of the scholarships taken from the school as part of the punishment over the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Five will be reinstated next year, and more will be phased in until the school reaches normal totals in 2016-17.

“We have to keep doing what we’re doing,” O’Brien said, “which is work extremely hard to do what’s right for our football program, our players, our student-athletes, and most importantly, the university.”

The NCAA credited the school for making significant improvements to its athletics programs after the Sandusky scandal. The scholarship amount will continue to increase until Penn State reaches the full allocation of 25 initial football scholarships in 2015-16 and 85 total in 2016-17.

While the surprising reversal won’t help this year’s Nittany Lions (3-1), O’Brien was pleased the sanctions were eased for the long-term health of the program.

Even better for Penn State, the NCAA said it also may reduce the postseason play ban, depending on future progress.