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Paterno, Division I’s winningest coach with 409 victories, was fired by university trustees Nov. 9, the same night then-president Graham Spanier also left his job under pressure. School leaders faced mounting criticism that more should have done to prevent the alleged abuse.

Emmert in his letter cited an NCAA bylaw that says coaches or athletic staffers must “do more than avoid improper conduct or questionable acts. Their own moral values must be so certain and positive that those younger … will be influenced by a fine example. Much more is expected of them than of the less critically placed citizen.”

Acting athletic director Dave Joyner, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Joyner had been formally introduced earlier Friday, promising change following a turbulent two weeks. He said he would make sure that the “core values” of the school’s sports programs are aligned with the university’s academic side.

“I’m sorry I’m here for this reason,” Joyner said. “And first and foremost, I want to tell you how sad I am for the victims in this case.”