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about 4 months ago

Sen. Mitchell Praises Penn State in Fifth Quarterly Report

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Sen. George Mitchell released his fifth quarterly report on Penn State’s athletic integrity compliance, as required by the NCAA consent decree. Just like in his first four reports, Mitchell had high praise for Penn State’s compliance with all athletic integrity issues and the progress made in implementing recommended changes in the Freeh report.

“Penn State has continued to comply with its obligations under the AIA,”  Senator Mitchell wrote.  “Since our first annual report in September, Penn State has continued to make progress toward the completion of the handful of recommendations made in the Freeh Report that have not yet been fully implemented. In addition, the University has released a plan for its second phase of efforts to improve the University in ways which go beyond the recommendations of the Freeh Report, while also ensuring that changes put into place since the Consent Decree and the AIA will become embedded in the University’s structure and culture.”

Mitchell cited several examples of Penn State’s progress in the most recent 90-day period. This includes Penn State’s director of university ethics and compliance Regis Becker hiring a specialist in ethics and distributing a survey on the university’s culture; the recently hired youth programs specialist Sandy Weaver working to establish a network to disseminate information related to minors and ensure security of those participating in youth programs; and Penn State hosting its second annual conference on child sexual abuse.

“Penn State’s administration continues to cooperate fully with our Monitorship efforts,” Senator Mitchell concluded.

This quarterly report is encouraging because Mitchell left the door open for future reductions in the NCAA sanctions during his report to the Penn State Board of Trustees two weeks ago. Penn State will need to wait nine months for this announcement because Mitchell’s next annual report isn’t due until September.

“At the time of my annual report next year, I will determine if I will recommend further [NCAA] relief,” Mitchell said at the time. “I think it’s premature to speculate on the precise nature on future modifications that must be possible.”

You can read the full report below.

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