"In a lot of regards, my attitude and Bill [O'Brien's] has been, this is a box that's been constructed around us. We have no choice. We're in a cage, if you will. So we've got to come out like cage fighters and I think that's the attitude you see with Bill."
During negotiations on a contract as O'Brien was being hired as head coach, Joyner said it was O'Brien who came up with the idea of adding years to his contract should sanctions be imposed, the extension equaling the number of years of the sanctions.
"I'm very happy we did that," Joyner said. "That lets him do what he has to do in these next four years, which I think he's the right guy at the right time to do that. Then that allows him the extra time to kind of refill whatever he has to do over the next several years."
Regarding coaches coming on campus to recruit Penn State players and convincing them to transfer, Joyner said he has no problem with those who stay within the rules set forth by the NCAA. But if people violate the rules, "then we'll let the appropriate authority know," he said.
Joyner said the desire for himself and O'Brien is to schedule big-time opponents out of conference even though a reduction in the total number of scholarships to 65 begins in 2014.
"We can't go to a bowl game for four years but we can help the conference by increasing the quote-unquote RPI by playing high-caliber opponents," he said. "We've had very good talks with several very high-profile opponents.
"If I were them, I'd want to play us more because of the attention, the media attention around these games. If I were the athletic director or somebody else, I'd want to play Penn State more because the attention is going to be so much more."
As for Big Ten games, Joyner said he is in talks with his Wisconsin counterpart, Barry Alvarez, about establishing a trophy to be awarded to the winner of their annual season-ending game. The name of the trophy is still being considered.
Joyner also said he is also planning to reexamine Penn State's Seat Equity and Transfer Program (STEP) in which season-ticket holders pay a certain donation for their seat location on top of the ticket price.
"It's been my intention to relook at the STEP program for next season," he said. "Now when we look at the program based on what we know the world is right now. I don't know what we'll do. We'll look at everything. I'm not opposed to looking at any alternative."
Published reports have junior tailback Silas Redd and two other Penn State starters likely heading on the road this weekend to consider transferring to other schools.
ESPN.com reported that Redd, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards last year, may be heading for a visit to Southern California. Trojans coach Lane Kiffin met Thursday with Redd and his father in Norwalk, Conn., to discuss a transfer.
The father of junior linebacker Khairi Fortt told Hearst Connecticut Media that he would be visiting California, and that Baylor and Connecticut still were actively pursuing Fortt.
And Philadelphia-born Anthony Fera, a junior who handled Penn State's field goals, punts, and kickoffs last year, is heading home to Cypress, Texas, to discuss with his family transferring to another school. ESPN.com reported that Fera had been in contact with Texas, and could be paying the Longhorns a visit.
In a bit of a surprise, the Nittany Lions gained a late commitment for the freshman Class of 2012 from 6-foot-2, 235-pound linebacker Brennan Franklin of Centennial High School in Peoria, Ariz. Franklin, an all-state player, had been offered a scholarship by Toledo and a number of FCS schools but only received an offer from Penn State on Thursday, according to the Fight On State website.
Contact Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @joejulesinq