Penn State Written Offers: Then And Now

Check out what top Nittany Lion recruits receive in the mail now as opposed to 36 years ago.

Penn State has 18 commitments for its Class of 2016, which is hardly unique. Across the Big Ten, 12 of the 14 programs have already hit double figures in verbals (sorry Indiana and Purdue fans).

But unless you are a serious recruitnik, you probably did not realize that coaching staffs were not allowed to make written offers to prospects until the first day of August (which was Saturday).

Penn State's offers were sent out via an express mail service Saturday, and prospects began receiving them Monday. Some posted the offers to social media, like Ohio offensive lineman Alex Gellerstedt (who is committed to the Lions).

This is what he received.

Which got us thinking -- how much have these PSU offers changed over the past 36 years or so? OK, we know that is an arbitrary number. But we just so happen to have a digital copy of a Nittany Lion offer that went out in 1979.

It was sent to the late Dick Maginnis, who would go on to be a starting offensive lineman on the 1982 national championship team. And it came from the late Joe Paterno.

As you can see, there are some significant differences in the way these offers look. The old one was written on a typewriter (younger readers can use Google to learn what that was). The newer one is obviously much more slick from a graphics perspective.

But some of the language is almost exactly the same.

For instance, James Franklin's letter says, “We have completed a thorough evaluation of you as a student-athlete and we are confident you possess the ability to make a significant impact on our program.”

Paterno's letter says, “After careful evaluation by our coaching staff, we are pleased to offer you an athletic scholarship to Penn State University.”

Both letters offer the “maximum grant-in-aid permitted under NCAA regulations.”

Now, that means: “Your room, board, tuition, course required books and fees as well as a cost of attendance stipend.”

Then, it meant: “Your room, board, tuition, course required books, and fees.”

Both letters spell out requirements for the offer.

Now, they include admission to the university, meeting all NCAA and Big Ten eligibility requirements, and the “ability to maintain high standards of personal conduct.”

Then, the awarding of the grant was “contingent upon your admission to the University.”

One other difference, and something Franklin may want to consider doing moving forward -- Paterno's letter included a short handwritten note to Maginnis.

“Dick - I'm pleased to do this. Congrats on the big win over Chief Logan. Joe.”

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