Letter to the Editor | Beyond the scope and the pale

December 17, 2013 

The recent report from former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell on Penn State’s progress on the Athletic Integrity Agreement reveals that Mitchell is working beyond the scope of the AIA.

The scope of the AIA was supposed to be strictly on Chapter 10, Recommendation 5 of the Freeh report, which consisted of just nine items.

One of those items, 5.4 Academic Support for Athletes was completed before the Freeh report was published. Mitchell’s report not only addressed item 5.4, but at least one dozen topics not covered under the AIA, including facilities security, ethics, cooperation with law enforcement, Clery Act reporting, the shake-up of the athletic department medical staff and the March4Truth.

To make an analogy, Mitchell is like the car mechanic who was supposed to do an oil change but gave the car an unnecessary overhaul — and charged full labor by the hour.

According to the most recent accounting, Michell’s firm has taken more than $2.1 million for his unnecessary work.

Penn State was the model for combining academics and athletics. Prosecutor Frank Fina’s recent comments that he found no evidence that Joe Paterno was involved in a cover-up surely means the Freeh report was wrong and should not have been used in place of a real investigation.

Most alumni know that there was not an integrity problem with the football program. The integrity problems are with the Penn State board of trustees, the NCAA and Mitchell.

Ray Blehar

Annapolis, Md.

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