Bill O’Brien was the main attraction and did most of the talking.
But plenty of reporters also gathered around athletic director Dave Joyner at the end of Penn State’s official press conference Monday morning.
O’Brien already had gone on the offensive, denying that there were any bad feelings or a poor working relationship between him and Joyner — which had increasingly become the subject of Internet rumors and even mentions from columnists.
Then it was Joyner’s turn to talk.
(Some rumors claimed that Joyner failed to respond to or return repeated phone call or text messages from O’Brien).
“I want to set the record straight about some of those things that were said,” Joyner said. “Bill and I talked while I was away. He was at Disney World on vacation (last week). We emailed, we texted and we kept in contact.
“Was there a two- or three-day period that we didn’t? Well, sure. He was down there riding the roller coasters with (son) Michael. The week worked out exactly the way he and I talked about in the beginning.”
Then Joyner was asked about the interim tag on his position. Would he be interested in being named full-time athletic director?
“I’m here to serve at the behest of the president. I’ll be here as long as they want me and whatever they want to call me is OK with me.”
Then he ended up giving an elongated war analogy when talking about Penn State’s beginning recovery stages from the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the NCAA sanctions.
“You guys have to understand for over a year, this was a war zone, and you can’t imagine, everywhere (around) this university, the things that were going on. So you’re in crisis control, crisis mode, you’re trying to keep the ship from not sinking.
“Now, we’re in a building mode. The war’s not over, but we’re in an occupation, if you will. So now we’re in a rebuilding mode. Now the coaches and I are working together.”
Finally, he was asked about Gov. Tom Corbett’s lawsuit against the NCAA and the possibility of the sanctions being lessened.
“I mean, I always hope that a God bomb falls out of the sky. One of my friends said that’s a real happy thing to have happen to you. Who knows? The NC2A said this is the way it is and we’re gonna live under that box. I’ve said, if you put us under a cage, we’re going to be cage fighters. So we’re going to fight within that cage that we have.
“If something happens down the road, so be it. But we’re not going to plan our lives around it.”