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Penn State's recruiting sanctions reduced: What does it mean for Maryland?

The NCAA has announced scholarship sanctions against Penn State will be gradually reduced. How does this impact the Terps?

Rob Carr

In a rare reversal, the NCAA has elected to lessen scholarship sanctions on the Penn State football program, basically speeding up the process by two years. The recruiting sanctions never really made much sense in the first place, as those being punished had nothing to do with the atrocities that took place at the school.

Here's a handy chart made by SB Nation's own Bud Elliott detailing the old scholarship numbers and the new.

Incoming class Total roster
Academic Year Original Revised Original Revised
2014-15 15 20 65 75
2015-16 15 25 65 80
2016-17 15 25 65 85

65 85

So what does this mean for Maryland? The Terps were expected to be one of the schools able to pick up some of those leftover ten recruits that otherwise would have landed at Penn State, but will this change Maryland's next two recruiting classes much?

Not likely. Penn State was always going to get the Pennsylvania guys they really wanted (and some of the guys in other states as well), and it doesn't change the power dynamic for local Maryland recruits -- Larry Johnson Sr. was still going to try and swoop in for the big guys, with Mike Locksley hoping to hold down the homefront.

Where it does make a difference is in the fringe recruits -- guys like 2014 Maryland commitments David Shaw and Brett Kulka, Pennsylvania players who are somewhat under-the-radar and therefore weren't worth one of Penn State's precious few scholarships. Maryland, with ten more, could take a flyer on one of those guys, hoping they pan out.

Some of those types of players will elect to stay home over heading to Maryland, but the schools are close enough geographically that the re-instated scholarships will not knock the Terps out of the game with many of them (Maryland gets a few of those guys every year from Pennsylvania and Ohio, with or without scholarship sanctions).

Those guys can obviously develop into studs (think Joe Vellano), but then it just comes down to Maryland's ability to scout and recruit better than their opponent -- which is where we were in the first place.