With the Penn State football team and university in the midst of a sexual-abuse scandal, the EIVA is fully supporting the Nittany Lions men’s volleyball team.
EIVA commissioner Ivan Marque issued a statement Monday that praised the Penn State men’s volleyball team and its head coach Mark Pavlik for the program’s quality, accountability and integrity.
Penn State became the center of a national controversy in November when former football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested and charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse against minors. In addition, school officials failing to properly report to police a 2002 instance they were aware about resulted in the firing of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham Spanier.
“Although everyone is in agreement that the football program related troubles at our member school, Penn State University, are incredibly miserable, the EIVA is obliged to report that their men’s volleyball program has been a stellar example of quality, accountability, and integrity while supporting our mission statement without wavering or faltering,” Marque said. “During these same past 18 years, coach Mark Pavlik has led an awe-inspiring program that has become our benchmark of success.”
Penn State has won 13 consecutive EIVA championships and has not lost a conference match since 2008. The Nittany Lions are the only EIVA school to win a NCAA championship — winning the national title in 1994 and 2008.
Penn State is a charter member of the eight-team EIVA, which is the oldest East Coast Division I-II men’s volleyball conference.
Along with supporting the Penn State men’s volleyball team, Marque also said the EIVA is fully behind the positive efforts of the overwhelming majority of Penn State athletes, students and faculty.
“In times where it is fashionable to debate and illustrate issues using percentages, the EIVA firmly believes that the efforts, investments and dedicated hard work of 99.999 percent of the Penn State family need to be defended and protected from the actions of 0.001,” Marque said. “It is imperative that any deserving student is afforded the full benefits of their education and degrees and can go compete in the world without having to face any bias or discrimination. Hopefully, we will all join to conquer and defeat this crisis.”