Penn State athletic director Dave Joyner is set to resign according to David Jones of pennlive.com and it could come by the end of the week.
Joyner was one of the Penn State board of trustees who voted to fire former head coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and was then hired to replace Tim Curley as the school’s athletic director in November of 2011.
During his tenure he oversaw the hiring of Bill O’Brien to be the successor to Paterno and that move proved to be a home run hire despite O’Brien leaving after only two years for the head coaching job with the NFL’s Houston Texans.
O’Brien recruited admirably considering the constraints placed on his program from NCAA sanctions, including signing star quarterback Christian Hackenberg who could be on short lists for the Heisman and a potential first round pick in the NFL draft in either 2016 or 2017.
He also brought in Pennsylvania and former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin to replace O’Brien and he may have outdone himself with this hire. Although Franklin has yet to coach a regular season game he has the backing of the fan base and that was evident with a massive turnout at the Blue and White Spring Game with more than 70,000 in attendance.
Franklin also has a top-five recruiting class in the fold and poised to bring the program out from the dark cloud the university was under after the news of the Sandusky sex scandal broke in 2011.
He will be remembered in a negative connotation from the Paterno legion of fans and have his legacy ultimately defined by the success of Franklin. It’s a new era at Penn State with a new president in Eric Barron, a new athletic director coming (Jones mentions Northwestern’s Jim Phillips as a potential target) and a new football coach.