Joyner Talks of "Noble Purpose"

Penn State's acting athletic director has no timetable for finding a new football coach to replace Joe Paterno.

Penn State introduced acting athletic director Dave Joyner at a strange press conference on campus Friday morning. At the event, held in a dimly lit Schwab Auditorium, the former Nittany Lion two-sport star promised to restore respect to an athletic department that's been rocked by the recent Jerry Sandusky scandal.

"We have a noble purpose here at the university and it doesn't stop in the classroom," he said while standing alone on a theatrical stage. Soft jazz music played before and after the press conference.

The setting of the event -- in a building where classes are taught -- apparently was to drive home the point that it will no longer be business as usual in the athletic department.

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Joyner stepped down from his post as a member of Penn State's board of trustees to take over as acting AD. As such, he was among those who voted to fire head football coach Joe Paterno last week. Joyner was also an All-American for Paterno in the early 1970's.

"I'm sorry we're here for these reasons," he said.

Though Paterno had drawn heavy public criticism for not reacting swiftly enough or decisively enough regarding the Sandusky scandal, the BOT was not clear on why he was fired. Joyner continued to be vague Friday.

"We felt that decision was in the best interest of everyone at the university," Joyner said.

In the meantime, it sounds as if he is in no rush to replace Paterno. Joyner said he is looking forward to the rest of the football games this season and that the administration will "huddle" soon to talk about finding Paterno's replacement.

"We understand this is a necessary step and when the time comes we'll act appropriately," he said, adding there is no set timetable.

Asked if interim head coach Tom Bradley is a candidate for the job, Joyner said, "Anybody's name is in the mix who wants to apply."

As for his own job, Joyner said there is no specific timeframe for how long he will keep it. Asked if a former player for Paterno who has remained close to the university through the years is the right kind of person to take over as AD in such a troubling time, he did not hesitate in his answer.

"People who know me know that my mantra is doing the right thing all the time," Joyner said. "You will know and appreciate that I'm about doing the right thing."

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