- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Big Ten released a statement on the NCAA's decision to reduce the scholarship sanctions against Penn State:
"Earlier today the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) held a teleconference to announce a modification to the sanctions set forth in the Consent Decree that the NCAA entered into with Penn State on July 23, 2012.
"The NCAA’s decision to modify the Consent Decree was based strongly on the recommendations of Senator George Mitchell, who has been serving since August 2012 as the independent Athletics Integrity Monitor responsible for overseeing Penn State’s implementation of the reforms set forth in the Athletics Integrity Agreement (AIA). The AIA was entered into on August 29, 2012 by the NCAA, the Big Ten Conference and Penn State as one of the requirements of the Consent Decree.
"As a party to the AIA, the Big Ten, through its Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COPC), met with Senator Mitchell on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 and received his report on Penn State’s progress in complying with the reform requirements of the AIA. Senator Mitchell's briefing included a recommendation to modify the NCAA sanctions in the Consent Decree related to scholarships based on the significant progress that Penn State has made to date in its compliance and reform efforts. He made no other recommendations to modify any other sanctions at this time.
"'On the basis of Senator Mitchell's briefing, the COPC reached consensus to support his recommendation to the NCAA,' said COPC Chair and Iowa President, Sally Mason. 'We support the NCAA's announcement today acting on that recommendation.'"
3dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy