STATE COLLEGE, PA. (AP) - Penn State is turning to a member of its board of trustees who played football and wrestled for the school to serve as its acting athletic director in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.
Dr. David M. Joyner, a business consultant and an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine, will take over the job performed until last week by Tim Curley.
Curley is on leave as he defends himself against criminal charges that he failed to properly alert authorities when told Sandusky allegedly sodomized a young boy in the Penn State football showers in 2002, and that he lied to a grand jury.
Sandusky was charged Nov. 5 with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span starting in 1994.
Joyner’s position on the board, where he has been a trustee since 2000, is being suspended as he takes on the new duties.
Among his likely tasks will be finding a replacement for Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno, who was fired last week by trustees amid mounting criticism that he and other school leaders should have done more to stop the alleged attacks. Paterno won a Division I record 409 games over a 46-year career.
Longtime school president Graham Spanier also was fired, replaced by Rod Erickson, previously the school’s chief academic officer since 1999.
University vice president Bill Mahon said on Tuesday that Erickson wants to make sure the school is “better aligned,” and that there are no opportunities for miscommunication between athletics and the rest of the school, or a lack or hesitancy to communicate.
There was no timeline for the coaching search, Mahon said. The 21st-ranked Nittany Lions (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) visit Ohio State (6-4, 3-3) on Saturday.
Joyner earned a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree in the 1970s from Penn State. He has worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee extensively, serving as head physician to U.S. teams at the 1992 Winter Olympics, chairman of the sports medicine committee and vice chair of the anti-doping committee.
“Dave Joyner has served the board with integrity, and he is internationally known for his work with the U.S. Olympic Committee,” Erickson said in a statement. “I am confident that he will bring that same integrity to his new role.”
Joyner was named the school’s outstanding football alumnus in 1985 and was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
Mark Sherburne, who performed the job after Curley went on leave, has returned to his prior position as associate athletic director.
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