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Southeastern University Conference Commissioner Discusses Penn State's Freeh Report and Schools' Duties

Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney saw this article in the Connecticut Post and thought it was very relevant to the mandated reporter laws in Connecticut.  Excerpts of the article are below: Southeastern  Conference Commissioner Mike  Slive said a recent report criticizing Penn State's handling of sexual abuse  allegations serves as a stark reminder to schools and athletic programs  nationwide that they can't let one individual "derail the soul of  an institution."
Slive briefly but pointedly  referenced last week's report by a special investigator in his opening address  at SEC media days Tuesday. "We must maintain an honest and  open dialogue across all levels of university administration," Slive said.  "There must be an effective system of checks and balances within the  administrative structure to protect all who come in contact with it, especially  those who cannot protect themselves.

"No one program, no one person -- no matter how popular, no matter how successful -- can be allowed to derail the  soul of an institution." He didn't mention Penn State,  late coach Joe  Paterno or longtime assistant Jerry  Sandusky by name but acknowledged the scandal has left university and  athletic officials across the nation sensitive to the issue. The report by  special investigator Louis  Freeh, a former FBI director, found that Paterno and other top Penn State  administrators hid Sandusky's abuse of children to avoid negative publicity  against the university. After his speech, Slive  elaborated on the intentions behind his remarks but demurred when asked how or  whether the NCAA  should punish Penn State. "I was talking about how we all  manage intercollegiate athletics as part of the mission of the institution," he  said. "In essence, what happened there is something that in a horrific way  reminds us that athletics has a proper place in the context of higher education  and we need to be ever-vigilant -- all of us -- to make sure we keep  that perspective. " Slive presides over a league  that has captured the last six football national titles in a college  football-crazed South. He dismissed any notion that the region's culture makes  SEC schools any more susceptible to issues with football's role. "We all need to be vigilant," he  said. "We have very active presidents and chancellors in the policies within the  conference. The important thing is that our athletic programs are operated  within the context of higher education and the context of our  schools' missions." ......... JOHN ZENOR, Associated  Press

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