On Monday morning, the NCAA hit Penn State with perhaps the biggest punishment in the history of college football.
The football program received a $60 million sanction, a four-year ban from the postseason and a vacation of all wins dating back to 1998. According to the NCAA, the money will be paid to programs that try to prevent child sexual abuse or ones that look to aid victims of abuse.
Perhaps the biggest blow dealt to the school was the loss of scholarships. Penn State will be forced to cut 10 initial and 20 scholarships each year over the four-year period.
PSU avoided the death penalty, which would have eliminated football from the school for at least one whole year. NCAA President Mark Emmert said the penalty wasn't imposed on the program because it would have affected people who played no part in the Sandusky scandal.
While Penn State wasn't hit with the death penalty, the punishment they received could possibly be worse.
The school's football program will be severely hurt but the NCAA's decision, possibly more so than if it was just canceled for a season or two. ESPN Radio talk show host Colin Cowherd thinks the decision might destroy the program.
80 scholarships lost over 4 years. Program done. Rest you can overcome. Not that. Done, tweeted the host of The Herd.
Because of the sanctions, players will be allowed to transfer to other schools and play immediately. Under normal circumstances, a player would have to sit out a season after transferring.
A lot of players are expected to switch universities after the NCAA's ruling. If a current player decides to stay at Penn State, they likely won't get a chance to play in a bowl game for their entire collegiate career.
Division 1 schools are usually allowed to have 85 scholarship players on a football team. They can add up to 25 scholarship players each season.
Not only will the team lose many of its best players to other schools, but the number of quality players they can add over the next few years will be limited. It will be hard for a PSU coach to convince a high school player to forgo a few years of postseason play and suit up for the Nittany Lions.
Even after the ban is lifted, the university will have trouble recruiting talent to a school that might be coming off some of the worst seasons in Penn State history.
The last football program to receive the death penalty was Southern Methodist University. After years of success, SMU was forced to cancel its program in 1987 and 1988 for repeated violations, which included payments to players. As a result, the Mustangs went 25 years between bowl game appearances.
While it was the NCAA who issued the penalties and not Penn State themselves, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports that this was essentially a self-imposed punishment.
Penn State signing 'consent decree' is NCAA-speak, he tweeted. What it means is that PSU was fully on board.
Since there has not been a similar sexual abuse scandal at the college level, there was no real precedent for any type of punishment.
We cannot look to NCAA history to determine how to handle circumstances so disturbing, shocking and disappointing, said Emmert. As the individuals charged with governing college sports, we have a responsibility to act. These events should serve as a call to every single school and athletics department to take an honest look at its campus environment and eradicate the 'sports are king' mindset that can so dramatically cloud the judgment of educators.
Joe Paterno's legacy on the field also took a hit. The vacated wins from 1998 move him being the all-time wins leader to 12th on the list.