Among the sanctions NCAA president Mark Emmert levied against Penn State last week was a five-year probationary period with a monitor. The scholarship reductions and bowl bans got most of the attention, but the probation monitor is a key area to make sure Penn State stays compliant in the immediate future.
Officially, we now know who will be monitoring Penn State’s athletic department during that span. The NCAA announced on Wednesday that former U.S. Senator George Mitchell – yes, from baseball’s “Mitchell Report” on performance-enhancing drugs – would be in charge of all things compliance, effective immediately.
Below is a portion of the release from the NCAA, which you can read in its entirety HERE.
As Athletics Integrity Monitor, Mitchell will evaluate Penn State’s compliance with NCAA sanctions and the Athletics Integrity Agreement it will execute with the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference.
He will have broad access to the campus, personnel and records and can make any recommendations he believes are necessary for the university to comply with all of its requirements and enhance adherence to NCAA and Big Ten principles, values, ethics and rules.
NCAA President Mark Emmert informed the NCAA Executive Committee today of Mitchell’s selection.
“Senator Mitchell has impeccable credentials as a fair and experienced arbitrator nationally and globally,” Emmert said. “He will bring the benefit of his vast experience and knowledge to the execution of the agreement.”
Mitchell will prepare quarterly progress reports for the NCAA, Big Ten and Penn State’s board of trustees. He will also seek assistance from his law firm, DLA Piper, and other legal counsel as he sees fit.