COLUMBUS, Ohio - Penn State acting Athletic Director David Joyner discussed how the football coaching search will be handled, his thoughts on Joe Paterno having cancer and other topics before Saturday's game. His thoughts in a Q&A format.
Q: Who else will be involved with you in the hiring decision about the next football coach?
A: There will be people that obviously we'll talk to. The [Board of Trustees] doesn't, it's not the board's decision. It's the athletic director's and the president's decision. I'll probably talk to my wife. You know, I mean. Not really. I'm just kidding.
The Associated Press
New Penn State Athletic Director David Joyner speaks during Friday’s press conference.
Q: Will there be a search committee?
A: Yeah, we're going to decide on that structure very soon, and that's usually the way it's done.
Q: Do you know what kind of people will be serving on that committee?
A: I don't yet.
Q: How quickly do you need to find a new coach with recruiting and everything else to consider?
A: We're aware of when the right time is, when we get things settled and we get things going in the right direction, in which they are, we're going to begin thinking about it. So we're very aware. There are two things. We don't want to distract, as I said in the press conference [Friday]. The young men have two more games, and with a little luck four more games maybe. And so you've got to balance between creating a big distraction on one hand but yet, you're right, the season's almost over, and we've got to start building for the next season. So there's a balance.
Q: Will you want someone with Penn State ties as the next coach or will you go outside the PSU family?
A: I would have no problem - it won't be my decision alone; there will be a lot of counsel obviously - but I have no objection to a Penn State-tied person. On the other hand, whoever is the best person is going to get the job.
Q: Are you concerned that if the next coach could be a person with Penn State ties who may have proximity to Jerry Sandusky, that it could be toxic?
A: I understand. I'll say something like I said [Friday] in my press conference. I said, well, I've got conflicts of interest, right, because I'm a Penn Stater. People that know me know I'm going to do the right thing, no matter what it is. It doesn't matter if I'm a Penn Stater or if I'm from Ohio State or whatever. So it's more about what's inside the person than it is what's outside.
Q: What are your thoughts about the news that Joe Paterno has cancer?
A: I feel devastated for him. I mean, I can't imagine what the family is going through. I've lived through that with friends and family of my own. My heart goes out to him, it really does. So he's in my prayers, and the whole family is in my prayers. I wish him the best. You know what, he's a tough guy, so if anybody can beat it and do well, Joe can do that.
Q: Have university officials reached out to Paterno, or is it tough with all the legal aspects still hanging over everything?
A: I have not talked to him, but I don't know if anybody [else has]. Other than the statement that's made, it's not that I can't comment because I just don't know if anybody has or has not. We've been in a whirlwind, with everything going at once. I can tell you we all are very sad for him and for his family.
Q: Can you describe your emotions in this whirlwind with everything going on from the scandal?
A: We've all lost people in our lives, and first and foremost, the tragedy for the victims is like a loss. I've said to people we've been in a funeral for the last, I can't even remember how long it's been now - two weeks almost, isn't it. And I think we're in a period of mourning now, to be honest with you. We've got to get about our business. You have to get up and you have to go to work and you have to do things, and we're beginning to do that and we will do that. But we're going to keep walking the straight path, and we're going to be respectful and remember and never forget. But we're getting back to business.
Q: What are your impressions of the job Tom Bradley has done as interim coach?
A: I think Coach Bradley has done a very fine job. I have known him a long time, and he's very direct. I think he's good with the media. And I think the players really respect him because he is a tough guy. They don't call him 'Scrap' for nothing. You know where that came from? Scrap iron. So yeah, I think he's done a fine job.
Q: How is this impacting you personally?
A: I feel terrible about the bad things that have happened. But I, it's almost like when you had a tragedy and a tragic loss, you know, you're sort of just going and doing things. So I know that it will settle down and everything will do all right. I'm doing fine.
Q: Do you want the AD job full time, or is the acting title just to get through this process?
A: I will help the university for as long as they want me to help them. As long as that happens - if it's five months, if it's five years - whatever I'm called on to do I'm prepared and I've made the commitment to help.
Q: It sounds as if you want the job full time?
A: Well, want's not a good word. I'm saying that if somebody would offer me the job eventually, depending on how things are, I certainly would be very interested.
Q: Will you try to pick the next football coach and then a permanent AD?
A: We really haven't had a conversation about the athletic director at this point because my job right now is to keep this ship going.
Q: So who decides which hire comes first?
A: That will be my decision, with counsel with Dr. Erickson, the president. And obviously we have lots of resources to talk to about that.
Q: Will the athletic department remain self-sustaining, or will it start taking money from other areas of the university?
A: We haven't had any discussions about the financial reintegration. We've always viewed it as a very positive thing that we're a self-supporting athletic program, we don't take dollars from anyplace else, and I think personally that's a positive thing. What we want to do is for people to understand ... that we're going to be an integral part of the university academic world. And the athletic fields are the classroom.