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Athletics Integrity Monitor Praises Penn State in First Annual Report

Penn State’s Athletics Integrity Monitor released his first annual report today giving the university high marks. The report, by Former Sen. George Mitchell, says Penn State has made substantial strides in its implementation of the recommendations made by Judge Louis Freeh.

Mitchell’s hiring was required by the consent decree Penn State signed with the NCAA. He is acting as an independent monitor to make sure Penn State follows through with the recommendations made in the Freeh report.

According to Mitchell Penn State has implemented almost all of the recommendations made by Freeh after Freeh was hired by the Penn State Board of Trustees in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.

Mitchell’s report indicates that the university will implement all of the recommendations by the end of the year. Penn State has completed 83 of the 119 recommendations so far, and are working on 32 more.

A primary recommendation that has been met is the implementation of training programs for mandatory child abuse reporters. The university also completed a recommendation that requires observation of all activities on campus that involve minors.

Regis Becker was hired as Penn State’s Director of Ethics and Compliance. This semester, Becker hired a youth programs compliance specialist who is in charge of overseeing university programs involving minors.

Another of the recommendations completed is the implementation of a Penn State Crisis Management Plan. That will serve as a reference guide to help the board of trustees to manage Penn State’s response to potential crises including financial, legal and compliance crises and terrorism.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a release that the university still has more to do, but he is pleased with the progress.

“The favorable report is a significant milestone for us, but it does not represent the conclusion of our efforts,” Erickson said. “We are keeping our teams in place and are embarking with a sustained sense of urgency on the next phase of our plan to continuously improve our governance, policies and procedures and operations.”

You can read the report here.

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