Lane Kiffin once took advantage of Penn State’s sanctions, using the opportunity provided by the NCAA’s imposed student-athlete free agency period last summer to poach the top offensive player on the Nittany Lions roster. Kiffin and his staff convinced running back Silas Redd to pack his bags, leave Penn State and join USC for training camp before the 2012 season. A little more than a year later, Kiffin responded to Tuesday’s news that the NCAA will begin restoring scholarships at Penn State, in a positive way.
“I think that’s awesome,” Kiffin said according to a report from ESPN. “Knowing what it’s like to go through and trying to manage those numbers and plan down the road as we have, now for Bill [O'Brien, Penn State head coach] not to have to do that as much is great for him. I’ve had a chance to talk with him a couple of times, and he’s doing an awesome job there so I’m really happy for him.”
I would love to know how those conversations between Kiffin and O’Brien went, but that’s another story for another day. Kiffin also shared a tweet that came off with a good scent of sarcasm yesterday following the news.
Penn State will have five scholarships restored for the Class of 2014, giving them 20 as opposed to the original 15 imposed by the NCAA sanctions against the university’s football program. Penn State will return to 25 scholarships in 2015 and will be able to field a full 85-scholarship roster by 2016.
Penn State is serving a four-year postseason ban that may or may not be altered in the future. As it stands, Penn State will not be eligible for postseason play until the 2016 season unless the NCAA reduces the terms of the sanctions regarding postseason play.