Senator George J. Mitchell and his law firm, DLA Piper LLP (US), announced that today he has delivered his first quarterly report as the independent athletics integrity monitor under the athletics integrity agreement dated August 28, 2012 among The Pennsylvania State University, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the Big Ten Conference.
The first report describes Penn State's progress during the initial 90-day period under the AIA in implementing both the integrity program required by the AIA and recommendations for reform that were set forth in the July 2012 report by Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan LLP. The Freeh report concerned allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Gerald A. Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State. The monitor's report concludes that Penn State has made significant progress in implementing the required reforms during this initial period while also recognizing that much work remains to be done.
"Based on our work to date," Senator Mitchell said, "Penn State's Board of Trustees and its administration appear determined to implement, swiftly and in good faith, the recommendations for reform that were identified in the Freeh report and to fulfill the commitments that the University made in the AIA. Penn State has dedicated substantial time and resources to accomplishing these objectives. It is too soon to judge the ultimate result. But I believe that Penn State is off to a very good start."
"The University also has demonstrated a commitment as an institution to addressing the grave problem of child abuse that the Sandusky case laid bare," Senator Mitchell continued. "There appears to be unanimity within the Penn State community that one outcome of this tragedy should be greater awareness of the prevalence of child abuse in society generally and the devotion of more University resources to prevent it where Penn State can play a role in doing so."
The AIA implements provisions of the binding consent decree issued by the NCAA against Penn State on July 23, 2012. Senator Mitchell was named the independent athletics integrity monitor after the consent decree was finalized. The monitor performs an independent role and is not an agent of Penn State, the NCAA, or the Big Ten Conference. The AIA contemplates that the monitor will serve for a term of five years, but that term can be extended or shortened by the NCAA. The monitor will provide quarterly written reports to Penn State, the NCAA, and the Big Ten Conference during his tenure.
Senator Mitchell is the chairman emeritus of DLA Piper, an international business law firm with 4,200 lawyers practicing in 31 countries and 77 offices throughout the Americas, UK, continental Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia.