Guy Cipriano, Centre Daily Times
Penn State still has one football trophy to play for.
The Big Ten notified athletic department officials Wednesday that the school is eligible to receive the Leaders Division trophy if it finishes with the best record in the six-team division.
The Nittany Lions begin an NCAA-mandated four-year postseason ban this season. The ban applies to conference title games, although Penn State is eligible to be recognized as division champions during the ban.
“I appreciate the Big Ten doing that,” Penn State coach Bill O’Brien said. “It’s good news.”
Ohio State, which faces a NCAA-mandated postseason ban this season, is also eligible to receive the Leaders Division trophy.
If Penn State or Ohio State capture the division title, the Leaders Division school with the best record not facing sanctions will appear in the conference title game. Illinois, Indiana, Purdue and Wisconsin are the division’s other members.
Big Ten assistant commissioner Scott Chip-man said the decision to inform the schools of the policy involving the trophy stemmed from a media request it received last week.