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Monitor lauds Penn State's progress post-Sandusky

| Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 5:39 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE — The independent monitor who's tracking Penn State's adoption of reforms in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal says in an annual progress report that the university is making notable progress.

Former Sen. George Mitchell, D-Maine, is serving as Penn State's athletics integrity monitor. He issued his first-year wrapup Friday.

Mitchell says Penn State has implemented most of the 119 recommendations laid out in former FBI director Louis Freeh's report last summer. The NCAA required Penn State to adopt the recommendations as part of its consent decree with the university.

The family of the late head football coach Joe Paterno and others are suing the NCAA over the sanctions against Penn State, which included a $60 million fine, scholarship reductions and four-year postseason ban.

Sandusky, a retired assistant football coach, is serving a long prison sentence for molesting boys.

Also Friday, the Paterno family and others suing the NCAA said a judge should not throw out their claims against college sports' governing body.

The document filed that day elaborated on ways they say the NCAA has harmed them, including making it difficult for Paterno's son to find a coaching job and hurting sales of Paterno memorabilia.

They say Paterno's death in 2012 does not mean college football fans can't buy his autographed footballs, but the market is more limited because of what they term “disparaging and baseless statements.”

The NCAA's top lawyer said that after reading the new filing, he still thinks the case should be thrown out.

The plaintiffs are Paterno's family, some Penn State faculty and trustees, and some former players and coaches.

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