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NCAA integrity monitor George Mitchell says Penn State shows 'good faith' in reform progress

| Saturday, June 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE — Penn State received its latest glowing report card from a watchdog that the NCAA appointed to monitor the university's adherence to an athletics integrity agreement, which was agreed to after the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Former Sen. George Mitchell delivered on Friday his third quarterly report to Penn State, saying the university's officials “continued to press forward in good faith” from March to May by implementing such reforms as reducing the size of the board of trustees and making available online mandated-reporter training. Mitchell said Penn State administrators and staff have given his team nothing but “full cooperation.”

Penn State must pay for the work done by Mitchell's team and, as of Feb. 28, the bill exceeded $1.4 million.

The latest report from Mitchell follows two other positive reports, the first in November and the second in February.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson said Mitchell's report “validates the significant reforms” university officials have worked to put in place. It also shows the university's “steadfast and ongoing commitment” to integrity and ethics, he said.

Among the most sizable reforms Mitchell noted was the downsizing of the board of trustees from 32 to 30 members by taking away the president's and governor's voting powers. Mitchell also pointed out the revamped trustees' conflict-of-interest policy that expands the definition of what could trigger a potential conflict.

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