Terms of Penn State’s Athletic Integrity Agreement Announced
When NCAA President Mark Emmert announced sanctions against Penn State on July 23rd, one of the requirements left many people more confused than angry.
Penn State, whose athletics programs had never been hit with major NCAA violations to that point, was required to enter into an Athletic Integrity Agreement with the Big Ten and the NCAA. What exactly is an “athletic integrity agreement?” Details are beginning to emerge. First, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell was appointed by the NCAA to serve as Penn State’s integrity monitor for the next five years while the football program is on probation.
Yesterday, terms of the agreement were posted on the progress.psu.edu website. The document contains the signatures of Penn State president Rodney Erickson, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, and Emmert. According to the signature dates, Erickson and Emmert both signed the document on Tuesday, and Delany made things official with the final signature yesterday. Here are a few highlights from the agreement:
- Penn State must implement all of the recommendations from the Freeh Report by December 31, 2013; however, valid reasons for not following through with a particular suggestion will be taken into consideration.
- In addition to Mitchell, Penn State must appoint an Athletics Integrity Officer and Athletics Integrity Council within 120 days.
- The integrity officer will be granted access to all university records, personnel, and buildings in order to best fulfill job duties. The individual will be a part of the council along with at least three faculty and University administrators who are not covered under the agreement. The Faculty Athletics Representative and the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Student-Athlete Services will also serve on the council
- The Athletic Director must certify yearly reports from team monitors that the department is in compliance with both the NCAA and the Big Ten.
- A Disclosure Program featuring a hotline along with an updated Code of Conduct should be developed within 120 days.
- If the NCAA receives a report that the university may be in breach of the athletic integrity agreement, they have the right to open an investigation.