Penn State acting athletic director David Joyner will continue to serve the university in that position through the end of university president Rodney Erickson's term. At the conclusion of that time frame, the school will conduct a national search for a new athletics director, according to a Penn State release Monday.
"I have confidence in Dr. Joyner and want him to continue as part of my leadership team while I am president," Erickson said.
Joyner was sitting as athletic director when Penn State conducted a coaching search late in 2011 and in to January 2012, resulting in the hiring of Bill O'Brien as head football coach. O'Brien was not the popular choice in the Penn State community but has since proven to be a solid hire, leading Penn State to a winning season and numerous coach of the year accolades.
Joyner was named acting athletics director in November 2011 to fill a void left by Tim Curley, placed on administrative leave in the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Curley was charged with perjury, accused of providing misleading information during a grand jury investigation by the state in to Sandusky and his crimes related to child sexual abuse.
Curley had been informed previously the university would not renew his contract. Curley's contract is set to expire on June 30, 2013. According to Penn State, Curley decided to retire late last year.
The question will be whether or not Penn State stays in the Penn State family or goes outside to hire a new athletics director when the time comes. There are pros and cons to both sides of that search. Hiring someone with Penn State ties could lead to leadership with a strong understanding for what Penn State is all about and provide a strong sense of what has happened and which direction the school is heading. Bringing in a face from the outside could bring new ideas to the table, perhaps with a different vision for how to move forward as well.
Given Penn State's track record, it may be more likely to see someone hired with some sort of link to the university for this position. It is not expected Joyner will continue to serve as athletics director beyond this current stint.
Kevin McGuire is a national college football writer for Examiner.com and the host of the No 2-Minute Warning podcast. Follow McGuire on Twitter and nominate him for a Shorty Award. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.