Dent & Thompson: NCAA Should Reinstate All PSU Scholarships

Penn State LogoA pair of Congressmen and Penn State alums celebrated the NCAA’s decision to reinstate some Penn State scholarships – but said it wasn’t enough.

Glenn Thompson (R-Centre) and Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh) are each pleased that the Nittany Lions will have sanctions on football scholarships reduced from forty to fifteen scholarships over the next three seasons. However, the pair has demanded from the NCAA a “full restoration of Penn State scholarships.”

“Despite the NCAA’s decision to gradually restore these scholarships, the initial decision to take punitive action against innocent students remains completely unjustified and only serves to harm past, present and future academic achievers,” Thompson stated. “The resiliency of the students, alumni and community during this very challenging time has been inspirational.”

Dent shared the sentiment.

“While I am glad to see the NCAA revisit its arbitrary and capricious punishment of innocent student athletes, the remaining scholarships should be restored immediately. Restoring all of the scholarships will allow more student athletes the opportunity to graduate from a top-rated university.”

They took a more strident tone than Gov. Tom Corbett. His statement emphasized the positive aspect of the news but avoided criticism of the NCAA.

“I am pleased that the NCAA is recognizing the important changes and reforms that the university has undertaken and will continue to make moving forward,” Corbett said. “We are also encouraged that the NCAA shares our view that the primary purpose of athletic scholarships is to provide an educational opportunity for student athletes.”

This is not the first time Thompson and Dent came together to knock the NCAA. In February, the two men released a joint statement to NCAA President Mark Emmert that the sanctions on scholarships went outside the standards of the NCAA.

In addition, Dent introduced the NCAA Accountability Act in the House of Representatives last month, which Thompson co-sponsored. The Act would require the NCAA to use “due process” when investigating and reprimanding individuals and schools. Dent’s bill also mandates four-year scholarships to athletes in “contact/collision sports.”

Penn State’s main campus is in Thompson’s district.

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