Three weeks after the release of the Freeh report, former Senator George Mitchell was hired to oversee Penn State’s NCAA compliance.
A former Senate Majority Leader, Mitchell has has led many investigations related to politics and business. He’s probably best known in the sports world for The Mitchell Report, a 2007 investigative report centering around steroid and performance enhancing drug use in Major League Baseball.
Appointed yesterday by the NCAA as Penn State’s independent integrity monitor, Mitchell’s job will start immediately. In addition to the crippling sanctions that will reduce scholarships and keep the football program out of a bowl game for four seasons, Penn State is on probation for five years and was required to enter into an “athletic integrity” agreement with the NCAA and the Big Ten.
This is where Mitchell comes in. His responsibilities will consist of preparing quarterly reports to the NCAA, Big Ten conference, and the Board of Trustees relating to the NCAA penalties.
To complete this task, Mitchell will be granted access to campus personnel and records in order to make recommendations.
In a press release yesterday announcing the news, Mitchell took a strong stance with the following statement:
I enter this engagement mindful of the fact that this tragedy has deeply affected many lives, starting, of course, with the victims and their families,” Mitchell said. “I will do my best to fulfill my independent oversight responsibilities to help ensure that Penn State University moves promptly and decisively to achieve the very high level of trust and integrity needed to fulfill its important mission to those it serves.