Rudel: PSU wise not to rush AD choice

Some random thoughts while enjoying the exhilaration of winter:

n Penn State’s removal last week of Athletic Director Dave Joyner’s “acting” label, at least through President Rodney Erickson’s tenure which expires midway through 2014, makes perfect sense. Though some in the Nittany Nation irrationally believe members of the past Board of Trustees should be burned at the stake, Joyner has done a reasonable job with high-profile moves (hiring and, keeping, so far, Bill O’Brien, luring Cael Sanderson here and extending Coquese Washington). The new president will decide Joyner’s fate and, from this view, it’s unlikely he’ll be a long-term solution. Just as O’Brien wanted his own people, or people without ties to the past, so likely will a new president. Trying to hire an AD before the school decides on a president would limit the pool and be putting the cart before the horse.

n Given that it never felt it had the voice in the Big Ten that it definitely had in the East, PSU would do well to hire a president with some Big Ten roots.

n There is discussion about revamping the Leaders and Legends divisions that would emphasize geography and thus reduce travel expenses. That’s not a bad idea – until Penn State ends up having a season-ending game with Rutgers or Maryland.

n Since it’s only his second year, Pat Chambers’ 0-for-the-conference record (0-9) so far this year would be slightly easier to swallow if the best player on the team whose injury wrecked the season, Tim Frazier, had not been recruited by Ed DeChellis.

n What is going on at St. Francis – or, more accurately, what has been allowed to go on at St. Francis (now 1-19 and headed to the worst record in school history) – is a complete embarrassment to all who played at the once-proud program and all who over the years braved the old Loretto road on a snowy night.

n Nice to see Alli Williams of Bishop Guilfoyle tearing up the Northeast Conference.

n Jim Baron is at it again: The master rebuilder took over a Canisius team that went 5-25 last year and sits at 14-8, including a win at Temple (which beat Syracuse). Adding to the story is former Altoona and St. Francis great Mike Iuzzolino, who is in his first season on the Canisius staff under his old college coach, and Baron’s son, Billy, is the team’s top player. Billy was born in Altoona when his dad, along with Iuzzolino, Joe Anderson & Co., was leading an NCAA run that the Flash of today can’t even dream about.

n Pitt looks like an NCAA Tournament team again as long as it’s not standing at the free-throw line. The Pete will be rocking today with Syracuse in for a noon tip.

n Without the Steelers, I’m only hoping for an entertaining Super Bowl and will lean toward the Ravens (and tails in the coin flip, breaking heads’ four-year streak). Hard to believe the mega-event is now in its 47th year. I can still remember the first one (Packers vs. Chiefs; Lombardi vs. Stram) – and our family going to a close friend’s home because we didn’t have a color TV. That arrived two years later, when Penn State played Kansas in the 1969 Orange Bowl. Enjoy your Super Sunday.

Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or You can also follow him on Twitter@neil