Mitchell: Continued 'quality response' could mean reduction in Penn State sanctions

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – For now, Penn State is unlikely to be granted further reprieve from the NCAA sanctions, said former Sen. George Mitchell, the university’s athletics integrity monitor.

But at his upcoming annual report next September he said he could propose more reductions to the sanctions as part of a multi-phased process if Penn State continues to improve its oversight and governance. .

Mr. Mitchell addressed the Board of Trustees this morning in a public session, speaking for a few minutes before taking questions from trustees only. He clarified the process for reducing sanctions in the future.

First, he said, he would have to recommend a reduction if Penn State continues its “quality response.” Then the NCAA and the Big Ten would have to agree.

When trustee Alvin Clemens asked Mr. Mitchell about a future lifting of the bowl ban, Mr. Mitchell said it was premature to discuss the specificity of possible changes.

For this year, the Big Ten has contracts with eight bowl games. Because of Penn State’s ban, only seven teams will likely be bowl eligible.

Mr. Mitchell said he believes Penn State will continue to improve itself.

“I encourage everyone to never lose sight of what everyone involved should have in common,” he said, “and that is a deep devotion to the university, to its future and perhaps most importantly to the young people educated here.”


Mark Dent: mdent@post-gazette.com, 412-439-3791 and Twitter @mdent05 First Published November 22, 2013 12:12 PM


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