|Joyner takes over for Tim Curley, who is charged with lying to a grand jury. (AP)|
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The new leader of Penn State's athletic department promised change Friday for an athletic department in turmoil after former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing eight boys over 15-year span.
David Joyner was formally introduced Friday as the school's acting athletic director. He said he will make sure that the "core values" of the school's sports programs are aligned with the university's academic side.
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Joyner takes over a job held until last week by Tim Curley. Curley was charged with lying to a grand jury and failing to pass on a 2002 abuse report to police that allegedly occurred at the football building. Lawyers for Sandusky and Curley have maintained their clients' innocence.
"I'm sure there will be change," Joyner said. "There's always change when you come in and have a new process."
Joyner said whether the size or power of the athletic department at the school had a hand in the scandal will become clearer as both criminal and internal investigations unfold.
"I'm just here to tell you that whatever has or has not gone in the past, we're going to go forward in the athletic department with my view ... that this is an academic unit," Joyner said. "Now if we've lost some of that luster because of things that have happened, I can tell you that I've never lost that core value, and this athletic department will reflect that core value."
Wearing a blue ribbon on his lapel to signify support for victims of child abuse, Joyner's introduction took place at an auditorium near the Old Main administration building. It was an unusual location for an athletics event, which typically makes major announcements at Beaver Stadium or the Jordan Center.
Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno was fired in the aftermath of Sandusky's arrest and replaced by defensive coordinator Tom Bradley on an interim basis. Joyner was a member of a board of trustees that unanimously approved Paterno's dismissal.
Joyner has suspended his position on the board as he takes on his new duties.
"We felt it was in the best interest of the university to do that ... for all involved," Joyner said about Paterno's firing.
He said there was no timetable for finding a permanent replacement.
Joyner earned a bachelor's degree and a medical degree in the 1970s from Penn State. Joyner has also 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.