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Penn State Football: Acting Athletic Director Dave Joyner Sends Message to Nittany Lion Club Members

on July 26, 2012 6:00 AM

Penn State acting athletic director Dave Joyner wrote a letter that was emailed to Nittany Lion Club members late Wednesday night.

His message follows:

"These are challenging times for the entire Penn State family.

"I am writing to you to share with you my thoughts about the events of the last few days, to lay out my goals for the next few years, and to express my confidence that, like all families, we will emerge from this trial stronger if we endure it together and with spirit of determination.

"Let me say first of all that we are determined that nothing like this will ever happen again. We are fully committed to protecting young people – those in our athletic programs and all others in our care – and, more broadly, we are committing ourselves to re-establishing an atmosphere of trust, confidence, and accountability that is compatible with the values of a world-class university. We have accepted the NCAA sanctions, harsh as they are, and recognize that they have a role to play in the healing process that President (Rodney) Erickson has described.

"I firmly believe that Penn State will emerge from this ordeal a stronger, better place, one that we can all be even more proud of. To do that, I need your help. We need each other's support, candor, and active participation – we need to be the One Team that President Erickson has called us to be.

"(Tuesday), I met with Coach (Bill) O'Brien, the other coaches and staff, and members of the team. Naturally they are disappointed by the burden they are being asked to bear, burdens brought on as the result of events that none of them played any role in. But I am proud to tell you that they are resolute, demonstrating yet again the character we saw in them back when we asked them to come to Penn State. We owe them the same measure of resolve in supporting them through this difficult period.

"For myself, I pledge to them and to you to do everything I know how to do to fully comply with the sanctions and, even more importantly, instill a culture of integrity, transparency, and accountability in our department. We will establish an environment where people feel free to speak their minds, share unpleasant truths, and always put the strong values of a great educational institution first.

"To do this, we all need to work together as members of the Nittany Lion family. I need you to support us when we're right, help us fix things when we're not. Let our student-athletes know you're cheering for them and are there for them. Let our student-athletes know how proud of them you are.

"Let's turn this moment into an opportunity to remind ourselves and others that a great college football program isn't just about bowl games and rankings, but about loyalty and courage, fighting back when you're down and standing up for your school, your teammates, your family. Nobody could have expressed this better than our players did (Wednesday) morning:

Player video

"In the coming weeks and months, I will share with you more details of what we are doing to rebuild our program and create a better future, and I hope you will share your thoughts and feelings with me. I thank you for your loyal support, and ask that you continue to stand with us.

"We are ... Penn State!"

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