Mitchell Report To Be Released Monday
By Jenn Miller
The latest progress report regarding Penn State University’s compliance with NCAA sanctions for the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal is expected to be released Monday.
Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell is the independent athletics integrity monitor under the Athletics Integrity Agreement between Penn State University, the NCAA, and the Big Ten Conference.
Mitchell is expected to release his seventh quarterly report outlining Penn State’s progress, according to Josh Epstein, spokesman for DLA Piper, the business law firm where Mitchell serves as chairman emeritus.
After Sandusky’s indictment following allegations of child sexual abuse and after the revelation that some of the former Penn State football coach’s crimes occurred on Penn State’s campus, the university hired Louis Freeh, former FBI director, to investigate the scandal. The subsequent Freeh Report found significant wrongdoing on the part of the university.
In response, the NCAA leveled unprecedented sanctions against Penn State and its football program, including a reduction in football scholarships, a four-year ban on bowl appearances, and the vacating of 111 wins under former head coach Joe Paterno. The university must also pay a $60 million fine, which the NCAA says will be used for child abuse awareness and prevention.
Since then, Mitchell has been tasked with providing quarterly-reports regarding Penn State’s compliance.
Like previous reports, the seventh quarterly report will outline Penn State’s effort during the most recent 90-day period to fulfill its obligations under the agreement and consent decree, including the implementation of recommendations made in the July 2012 Freeh Report.
Since 2012, some of the sanctions have already been reduced based on Mitchell’s recommendations.
For example, the NCAA Executive Committee is gradually restoring football scholarships the university lost. Beginning this academic year, five additional scholarships were restored to the university’s football program ahead of schedule. This amount is expected to continue to increase.
Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in state prison. In 2012, a jury found him guilty on 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. Three former Penn State administrators are awaiting trial for allegations they tried to cover up the scandal. All three men have pleaded not guilty.