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Penn State Community Reacts to Joyner Retirement

by and on June 18, 2014 6:55 AM

The Penn State community had mixed reactions to news that Athletic Director Dave Joyner will retire from his position at the university.

The two sides seemed divided down the middle as some thanked Joyner for his two and a half years of service while others exclaimed their delight that he will be gone.

Joyner will remain athletic director until Aug. 1, although he offered to stay beyond that point to help with the transition. He has been in the position since November 2011, beginning as acting athletic director before the position became official. Former Penn State President Rodney Erickson, who retired May 11, announced that Joyner would serve as athletic director through Erickson’s term as president.

Brian Sanvido, president of Nittanyville -- the student group that camps out at Beaver Stadium for every home football game -- said he isn't surprised to hear Joyner's retirement announcement. Sanvido, a senior majoring in architectural engineering, says he always believed a new president would bring a new athletic director to Penn State.

To Sanvido, Joyner will be remembered for hiring two great head football coaches. Bill O'Brien led two successful years of Penn State football, even though many doubted the team could rebound from receiving crippling sanctions. James Franklin has only been the coach for six months but is highly regarded for his ability to recruit top players.

"His legacy will be hiring Bill O'Brien and James Franklin and transitioning us out of the Joe Paterno era, which is almost an impossible feat," Sanvido says.

Sanvido hopes the next athletic director continues to hire dominant coaches for all Penn State sports teams, not just football.

The two issues that seem to be at the crux of frustration among fans involve the firing of longtime coaches Joe Paterno and Emmanuil Kaidanov. Joyner, who played football for Penn State in the 1970s, was a member of the Penn State Board of Trustees that unanimously decided to fire Paterno from his position as football coach.

Joyner fired fencing coach Kaidanov, who is now suing Joyner and the university for wrongful termination.Many people are voicing their thoughts on Joyner's retirement through social media.





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Jessica Tully recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in journalism and political science. She is a frequent contributor to and has also reported for USA TODAY, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Onward State and The Daily Collegian.

Jennifer Miller is a reporter for She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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