National Collegiate Athletic Association has roped in ex-senator George Mitchell to be the independent Athletics Integrity Monitor at Pennsylvania State University.
The former US Senate Majority Leader who concluded a 20-month investigation into performance-enhancing drug use in Major League Baseball in 2007, will monitor Penn State's compliance with sanctions it faces for failing to stop coach Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of children. He'll also make sure the school adheres to the athletic integrity agreement it will sign later this month with the NCAA and Big Ten Conference, reports Bloomberg.
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"Senator Mitchell has impeccable credentials as a fair and experienced arbitrator nationally and globally," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. "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, the Big Ten and Penn State's board of trustees. He'll have 'broad access' to the school's campus, personnel and records, and can make any recommendations he deems necessary for the university to adhere to NCAA and conference rules and principles, the NCAA said in a statement.
Aside from his 15-year career in the U.S. Senate, Mitchell had also served as an advisor to President Bill Clinton on Ireland.
Mitchell said he's mindful that the Penn State abuse scandal 'deeply affected many lives' and will seek to ensure the school moves 'promptly and decisively to achieve the very high level of trust and integrity needed to fulfil its important mission to those it serves.'
Last month, in the wake of the Sandusky child abuse scandal, the NCAA fined Penn State University $60 million, voided its football victories for the past 14 seasons, banned it from lucrative post-season games for four years and cut the number of scholarships available to players.