"Senator Mitchell has impeccable credentials as a fair and experienced arbitrator nationally and globally," NCAA president Mark Emmert said. "He will bring the benefit of his vast experience and knowledge to the execution of the agreement."
Penn State president Rodney Erickson agreed to the NCAA penalties, which included lost scholarships, a four-year bowl ban, and a $60 million fine. Mitchell, according to the release, will review that agreement's language, after which Penn State will formally sign it.
"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."
After 15 years in the Senate, Mitchell acted as a mediator and peacemaker for longstanding conflicts in Northern Ireland and the Middle East. In 2006, he headed a probe into performance-enhancing drug use in baseball. The 409-page report that resulted named 89 players that it claimed had used steroids or related drugs.
Four years earlier, he had headed an investigation into allegations of bribery in the bidding process for the 2002 Olympics.
At Penn State, Mitchell, 78, will be given "broad access" to university records and personnel and can utilize lawyers, consultants and investigators in assisting him.
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