STATE COLLEGE — Penn State has signed off on an agreement that outlines the changes it will make and the new procedures it will adopt in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
Leaders of the university, the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference inked the agreement this week, fulfilling one of the school's obligations under a consent decree.
It calls for the selection of an integrity officer for athletic programs and describes the duties of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who will act as the independent monitor overseeing its compliance with sanctions.
Penn State previously agreed to pay a $60 million fine, lose football scholarships and be banned from postseason play for four years.
The 13-page agreement includes oversight provisions as well as training and reporting requirements involving team monitors, the athletic director and a new Athletics Integrity Council. It took effect immediately.
The school agreed to adopt mechanisms designed to ensure staff, players and certain others "do not permit their collective or individual reverence or deference towards any individual, team or other aspect of the athletics department to undermine" aspects of NCAA, Big Ten and university rules.
The disclosure program involves setting up a hotline so people can report issues or pose questions, anonymously if they wish.
"Penn State is a world-class institution that prides itself on excellence in academics and athletics," university President Rodney Erickson said in announcing the agreement, adding that the school hopes to "emerge from this process as a model for compliance."
Penn State agreed to implement certain recommendations set forth in the university-ordered report by former FBI director Louis Freeh, which concluded high-ranking school officials covered up abuse allegations involving Sandusky to avoid bad publicity.
Penn State's football team opens its season Saturday with a home game against Ohio University.