The NCAA said today that it has appointed former Sen. George Mitchell as an Athletics Integrity Monitor of Penn State. His job will be to make sure the university is complying with the sanctions put in place after the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Mitchell has been appointed for a five-year term that begins immediately.
Saturday is the 40th anniversary of Title IX, which, although almost nobody anticipated it then, resulted in women's gaining the right to participate in sports commensurate with their numbers attending college.
Title IX not only had a huge effect on women's participation in sports, but also, culturally, it influenced the way both men and women view the idea of women and athletics. It's mattered greatly in our American society.
Amid allegations of corruption and misconduct in college football programs, critics have questioned whether the schools are exploiting student-athletes in an attempt to make millions of dollars. And alarms have been raised about the risks of repeated head injuries.
But football supporters say the sport is unifying, it teaches life lessons to players and it offers chances to young men that they may not get elsewhere.
This past week, charges were filed against members of the Florida A&M marching band in the hazing death of a former member. In recent weeks, there have been a string of hazing scandals on campus. In April, five Boston University students were bound and beaten in a fraternity house basement. And Rolling Stone magazine recently profiled a Dartmouth student's humiliating hazing experiences.
But as New Hampshire Public Radio's Dan Gorenstein reports now, all of this attention may be a good thing.