Penn State meeting NCAA provisions

The university is implementing recommendations from the Freeh report in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal.
The university is implementing recommendations from the Freeh report in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal. (ED HILLE / Staff Photographer)

The independent monitor outlined progress made in a 30-page report.

Posted: March 03, 2013

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Pennsylvania State University is making steady progress in implementing the requirements outlined by the NCAA following the sanctions for the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell said Friday.

Mitchell, the independent athletics integrity monitor, also said in a statement Friday that the university was making progress in implementing recommendations from Louis Freeh following the former FBI director's internal investigation into the scandal.

"University administrators, staff, and trustees continued to demonstrate a good-faith effort to fulfill their obligations and to implement improvements to Penn State's functionality and security," Mitchell wrote in the 30-page document.

The NCAA last summer named Mitchell independent monitor for the university after college sports' governing body levied strict sanctions including a four-year bowl ban, steep scholarship cuts, and a $60 million fine.

Gov. Corbett has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit seeking to get the penalties overturned, while the NCAA has responded by asking that his case be dismissed.

In a separate statement, university president Rodney Erickson cited the latest findings as evidence of "Penn State's ongoing commitment to integrity, responsibility, and ethical conduct."

Mitchell highlighted that Penn State had met the deadline for actions required by the NCAA to be completed within four months of the sanctions, including the hiring of a new athletics integrity officer and the establishment of a formal code of conduct for athletics. About 1,800 people were certified, including 1,100 "covered persons," including players, coaches, administrators, and the board of trustees.

Mitchell's report said one trustee, Anthony Lubrano, declined to sign because of opposition to the sanctions.

Penn State has said it has implemented the majority of the 119 recommendations outlined by Freeh. The NCAA and the Big Ten have allowed Penn State to bypass five Freeh recommendations that primarily had to do with human resources, upon Mitchell's recommendation, according to the latest report.

Sandusky, 69, was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison last fall after being convicted on dozens of criminal counts of child sex abuse, including allegations on campus. He maintains his innocence.

Besides the recommendations, Freeh in his report accused the late coach Joe Paterno and three former administrators of conspiring to cover up allegations against Sandusky.

Some alumni, students, staffers and trustees remain angry about how the school handled Freeh's report and the sanctions.

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