Two Pa. congressmen - including a local one - say they want the NCAA to restore 40 football scholarships Penn State lost as punishment in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Rep. Charlie Dent and Glenn Thompson from Centre County made the plea in a letter sent to NCAA President Mark Emmert.
In the letter they say that taking scholarships harmed players who had nothing to do with the scandal and does nothing to account for Sandusky's crimes.
“I want to make it clear to the NCAA who they are really hurting with this scholarship reduction,"Dent said. It’s not Jerry Sandusky and it’s not the University. They are hurting young people who are completely innocent of anything relating to the Sandusky situation and who through no fault of their own are being denied a chance to get a great education.”
Dent’s letter cites Penn State’s superior graduation rates for members of its football program as an indication that the emphasis at Penn State is on providing solid educations to student athletes.
Dent and Thompson are both Penn State graduates.
Governor Tom Corbett has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the NCAA sanctions.