Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Acting Ad Steering through Rough Waters Penn State's Joyner: 'Tough Times Give You, Sometimes, Great Focus'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Acting Ad Steering through Rough Waters Penn State's Joyner: 'Tough Times Give You, Sometimes, Great Focus'

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State athletes answered questions about how they're dealing with the fallout from the crisis that enveloped the school with statements on the field or in the gym.

This spring, the embattled athletic program won a second NCAA wrestling title in a row, advanced to the NCAA women's basketball tournament regional final and advanced to a 14th consecutive NCAA men's volleyball Final Four.

"In the last six months, our athletic program has been as successful as we've ever been," said acting athletic director David Joyner, who took the job in November. The athletes are "holding up together really well."

Joyner replaced Tim Curley, who was placed on administrative leave after Curley and former school administrator Gary Schultz were charged with lying to a grand jury and failing to properly report suspected child sexual abuse allegations against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Joyner also headed the committee that selected New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien to succeed the late Joe Paterno as head football coach after Paterno was ousted by school trustees days after Sandusky was charged in November.

Joyner was part of the board at the time, then left to take the acting AD post.

Joyner gave his first extensive comments since his hiring in a series of interviews Wednesday. He told The Patriot-News of Harrisburg that he has not talked to a grand jury investigating Sandusky, but has spoken to investigators for former FBI director Louis Freeh, who is spearheading the school's internal probe.

Joyner told The Associated Press that inquiries by the NCAA and Big Ten related to the scandal continue to be in a holding pattern as the university awaits the results of the Freeh report, which is expected to be released around the start of the next academic year in late August.

The former FBI director and his team have interviewed more than 400 current or former Penn State employees

"Tough times give you, sometimes, great focus," Joyner said from his Jordan Center office. …

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