Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell–appointed to monitor over 100 recommendations of change for Penn State University following the Freeh Report and NCAA sanctions last year–released his yearly report on Friday, September 6, and the university came back with glowing reviews.
While the quarterly reports had shown excellent compliance and change within PSU, the annual report said "Penn State has substantially completed the initial implementation of all of the Freeh Report recommendations and of its annual obligations under the AIA."
The positive progress made by Penn State is no surprise to college athletics insiders, as Penn State has always been one of the cleanest programs in the country and has boasted of one of the highest graduation rates for athletes (especially among African-American athletes). However, Mitchell's report and oversight are crucial if crippling NCAA sanctios to the football team will ever be reduced.
Current NCAA president and mouthpiece for Penn State sanctions last July, Mark Emmert, has even been quoted recently as saying that re-visiting the sanctions would be a "healthy" thing for the NCAA Executive Committee. Also, one Harrisburg-area journalist has been saying "off the record" that the Big Ten is working behind the scenes to help PSU have sanctions reduced. These are two positive indicators that the NCAA may be inclined to lessen the sanctions which have already hampered Penn State's football program.
Mitchell's work is far from over; neither is Penn State's, as it continues to implement changes. But Mitchell's report stated, " With the exception of several initiatives that necessarily will require a multi-year effort, Penn State has completed… all of the recommendations that were made in chapter 10 of the Freeh Report, as the AIA required."
Read the full report here.