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The Five-Year Plan: Joyner Tasked with Rebuilding Fractured Athletic Department but Optimistic for the Future

by on January 29, 2013 12:19 PM

The five-year financial outlook.

That’s the plan for how Penn State will navigate its way through the sanction-ian period it’s currently in following the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Athletic Director Dave Joyner, in an exclusive sit-down on-camera interview with GoPSUSports.com’s media savant Tony Mancuso, said he will lean heavily on his lines of communication with coaches and staffers across the athletic department to ensure the $60 million fine the NCAA imposed will not be a death knell for the department.

“The 60 million dollars is certainly a lot of money for this athletic department,” Joyner said in the video, released Tuesday. Penn State will pay the fine in five $12 million installments. “We do rolling five-year financial outlooks virtually every day. We’re gonna be all right. It’s gonna be tight. It’ll be tough, but we’re gonna be able to do it. ... It just may change the way we approach how we do the funding. It’ll be more of a donation-driven market.”

It’s been a whirlwind 14 months since Joyner was named acting athletic director. Last week, the ‘acting’ title was removed, as Penn State President Rodney Erickson reaffirmed Joyner would remain the AD through his presidency. A search for the next president is under way, and Erickson has said he will retire by June 2014.

Joyner has equated the early portion of his tenure to a war zone but said the athletic department is now back in “maintenance” mode, picking up the pieces and rebuilding a fractured image tarnished by the Sandusky scandal.

Turnover is happening behind-the-scenes in the athletic department. But the lead actors, the coaches, including top Billing for the whole production, are all staying for at least another year. And that’s enough of a reason for Joyner to head into 2013 feeling optimistic. Especially since what happens much beyond then likely won’t be under his jurisdiction after a national search for athletic director takes place upon the hiring of a new university president.

“What excites me is we’re continuing on,” Joyner said. “All of our head coaches are here. None of them have left.”

Other highlights from the Joyner interview:

On the success of the fall sports season:

“Results speak for themselves. These student-athletes and coaches have done remarkably well in any environment let alone the one they’ve been involved in for 14, 15 months.”

On Rutgers and Maryland joining the Big Ten:

“We’re having some Big Ten meetings over the next couple months. Some on the phone about realignment and how that’s gonna come out. I have a feeling it’ll be more geography based. There seems to be a lot of sentiment for that.”



Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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