Penn State AD Joyner to retire Aug. 1
College Football Videos
On the day it was announced he would step down as Penn State athletic director effective Aug. 1, Dave Joyner looked back on the unique circumstances during which his tenure began.
“If you know of a more unbelievable situation in the history of college athletics — or the history of university, perhaps – I can't think of one,” Joyner said in a phone interview Tuesday.
Thirty-one months after he took over amid the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, Joyner termed it a “mutual decision” with new Penn State president Eric Barron that he would retire from the school where he was an all-American performer in two sports from 1969-72.
Penn State will conduct a national search for a new athletic director, something Barron said it would do during an interview with the Tribune-Review last month.
Barron will form and name a search committee, likely by the end of the week, to work in conjunction with a North Carolina-based search firm in identifying a replacement for Joyner. Penn State senior vice president for finance and business David Gray will chair the search committee.
Joyner, a former captain on one of legendary coach Joe Paterno's early teams who also a standout wrestler at PSU, has offered to assist with the transition.
Named acting AD in November 2011 after Tim Curley resigned in the wake of the Sandusky scandal, Joyner had the “acting” removed from his title by former president Rodney Erickson in January 2013 with the understanding that Erickson's successor would have the power to name is own athletic director, if he chose. Erickson retired May 11.
Joyner's tenure enjoyed remarkable success throughout the athletic program with eight Big Ten titles each of the past two academic years, tops in the conference over that span. The wrestling, women's volleyball and fencing teams won national titles in 2013-14.
But Joyner also was named earlier this month as a defendant in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by 12-time national champion fencing coach Emmanuil Kaidanov.
Joyner maintained his share of critics among the university's alumni. Some continue to blame him for his role in the firing of legendary football coach Joe Paterno — Joyner was a member of the Board of Trustees at the time of the firing, which came over the phone. Many alumni are upset that Joyner has shunned the legacy of Paterno.
Other Joyner detractors are upset that he ascended to the AD's job without prior athletic administration experience (he was an orthopedic surgeon).
Among Joyner's more vocal critics were Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, a grassroots organization representing alumni. In an email, spokesperson Maribeth Roman Schmidt said, “Dr. Joyner was not qualified to hold this position, and his appointment was nothing more than cronyism. ... Penn Staters everywhere were offended by Joyner's suggestion that our ‘culture' was in any way responsible for Jerry Sandusky's crimes. We never agreed with him that ‘the culture at Penn State must change.' ”
Prominent university trustee Anthony Lubrano echoed those sentiments, calling Joyner's departure, “A good day.”
“I applaud Dr. Barron for his willingness to quickly try to heal this community and move the university forward by his decision today,” Lubrano said.
Joyner describes the first 14 months of his job as “crisis management ... simply just to keep bailing water. We couldn't move forward.”
He oversaw the hiring of five coaches and will likely have two more hired this summer. Of course, among that group are two football coaches – both of which (Bill O'Brien and James Franklin, both of which have been lauded.
“I'll let the record speak for itself, let people make up their own minds,” Joyner said. “I am honored to have served. I would say my intent has always been honorable. People may disagree, but they don't know what was in my heart.
“My intent has always been to help this university and to do the best job I can, and I would say to you I did that. Whether that was good enough or not, history will judge.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- WPIAL Class AAAA notebook: Pine-Richland has titles in 3 classifications
- The holiday season ushers in the gift of another layer of fashion — the coat
- Author DeKok’s ‘Murder in the Stacks’ looks at Penn State student’s 1969 killing
- Tire comes off, hits oncoming car, kills 1 on Route 28
- Pine-Richland tops defending champ Central Catholic to capture WPIAL title
- Report lays out red flags, failures in rearing of shooter at Conn. school
- Air Force reservist apparently settles firing lawsuit against U.S. Steel
- Former youth volunteer facing federal child pornography charges
- Dick Cavett memoir looks back on more than TV show
- The Word Guy: In formal prose, rely on ‘pleaded,’ not ‘pled’
- Carnegie boy gets to be mayor for a day