It’s been little more than a year since the NCAA handed down one of its stiffest penalties of all-time, but it seems college athletics' governing body is finally ready to ease up on Penn State. On Tuesday it was announced the sanction the program’s football scholarships will be gradually restored over the next few years—earlier than originally planned.
The original sanctions called for a cap of 15 scholarships beginning in 2013 and running through 2016; the NCAA limit at the FBS level is 15. Additionally, whereas FBS programs are permitted 85 scholarship players, the Nittany Lions would be allowed just 65.
The new directive from the NCAA, however, will allow Penn State to increase by five its scholarships in 2014, increasing to the full allotment of 25 the following year. The program will be back up to its full allotment of 85 scholarship players beginning in 2016 — at least two full years ahead of what the original sanctions had called for — after moving to 75 in 2014 and 80 in 2015.
Other penalties included a $60 million fine and four-year bowl ban, but those will remain in place for now with no specific plan in place to reduce either. However, the NCAA said in its press release that it may consider lessening the bowl ban at some point as well. The original sanctions were a result of the Jerry Sandusky scandal that sent shockwaves throughout the country.
About a year ago, while in Indianapolis for the combine, the Eagles cut veteran linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
Ryans has finally found his next job ... as a coach.
The 32-year-old former linebacker has been named a defensive quality control coach on Kyle Shanahan's staff in San Francisco. Shanahan was on the Texans' staff for the first four years of Ryans' pro career. Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was also on that Houston staff.
After the Eagles cut him last Feb. 24, Ryans was out of the league in 2016 after 10 NFL seasons. He played the first six years of his career in Houston, where he was a two-time Pro Bowler, before joining the Eagles through a trade in 2012.
While the Eagles cut Ryans after the 2015 season to save $3.5 million in cap space, they made a point to go out of their way to praise him on his way out. He was very well thought of in the locker room and throughout the building.
While Ryans played one season under Andy Reid, he quickly became a favorite of Chip Kelly, who frequently called Ryans the "Mufasa" of the Eagles' defense.
Kelly didn't forget about Ryans when he went to San Francisco to coach the 49ers for the 2016 season. In fact, in Kelly's questionnaire in the NFL's 2016 information guide, Kelly listed Ryans as a player who'd make a great head coach.
In the 2016 NFL Info guide, Chip Kelly named DeMeco Ryans as a player who would make a great HC. Now, he's on the next 49ers staff. pic.twitter.com/TGx0cfDr3c