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USC football: Lane Kiffin applauds easing of Penn State's punishment

USC Coach Lane Kiffin said Tuesday that he thought it was "awesome" that Penn State's punishment will be gradually lightened by the NCAA and that he has "always" thought that USC deserved the same.

But Kiffin, speaking on the weekly Pac-12 Conference coaches teleconference, did not sound optimistic that the NCAA would ease sanctions against USC.

"I don't control that," Kiffin said.

NCAA sanctions related to former USC running back Reggie Bush were handed down in 2010. They reduced, for three years, the Trojans' annual scholarship limit from 25 to 15. The Trojans are limited to 75 scholarship players on the roster, 10 fewer than the usual maximum.

The NCAA announced Tuesday that it would begin to restore some of the scholarships it took from Penn State in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky sexual-abuse scandal.

Penn State, under Coach Bill O'Brien, will be allowed to increase its scholarship number to 75 in 2014-15, 80 in 2015-16 and begin competing with the maximum 85 in the 2016-17 academic year.

"I think that’s awesome," Kiffin said. "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 not to have to do that as much is great for him.

"I've had a chance to talk with him a couple times and he’s doing an awesome job there so [I'm] really happy for him."

Kiffin said he had not yet spoken to Athletic Director Pat Haden about the NCAA's decision regarding Penn State.

"We're worried about out practice today and our game this week," he said. "So that's awesome for Penn State, it's awesome for their fans and, obviously, for their coaching staff to get those back."

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