At a press conference on Saturday afternoon, new Penn State president Eric Barron announced the hiring of Sandy Barbour as the new athletic director. Barbour replaces former athletic director Dave Joyner, who’s retirement becomes official on August 1. Joyner took over in November of 2011 after the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky situation.
The Board of Trustees held a meeting of the compensation committee on Saturday morning to discuss the terms of the contract. A public hearing to approve the hiring was held before the official announcement was made a the press conference. The Board of Trustees went through a similar process on January 11 when James Franklin was hired as the new football coach.
Barbour has been the athletic director at the University of California since 2004. Prior to that she was an assistant athletic director at Notre Dame. She also worked as the athletic director at Tulane University.
It was announced back in June that she would be leaving California in July. In her decade at Berkeley she did a lot of good for the sports program, producing 19 national team titles and making upgrades to the football stadium and other athletic facilities.
However, Barbour does have some negative issues linked to her time at Cal. The school now faces a massive debt from the renovation of Memorial Stadium. Also, the football team has been unsuccessful in recent years and has one of the lowest graduation rates of all the major college football programs.
At Penn State, Barbour steps into a program trying to rebound from NCAA sanctions placed on it more than two years ago. However, as far as graduation rates among football players, the Nittany Lions are always near the top of the list.
With the hiring of Barbour, Penn State now at least has some stability as far as leadership goes for the first time since the events of November 2011. Instead of people filling positions on an interim basis, the university now has a president, an athletic director and a football coach that seems to be in it for the long haul.