As harsh as the punishment was I can't argue with what was done to the program. I can't think of anything in college football history that was as bad as what happened in this case.
It is difficult to know for sure how much damage this whole episode has done to the university as a whole, not even taking the football program into consideration. My guess is that it is substantial and it is going to take a while to get over and return to normal.
I do know that what happened is really going to change how the university is managed so hopefully nothing like this happens again at Penn State or at any other college around the country.
I was a little surprised with the severity of the penalties because this is going to have a major effect on the program for many years, but the message the NCAA president sent is one that shocked the college football nation. Everybody will be more mindful of what is going on their athletic departments in the coming years, I believe, to make sure there is nothing improper taking place.
There is no doubt that NCAA president Mark Emmert decided to make an example out of Penn State in this situation and the penalties will have a broad impact on college athletics as a whole.
I think in the future coaches at football and basketball programs as well as alumni and others around programs will be very careful about trying to avoid NCAA penalties now that it is clear that the NCAA's president has the power to do what he did to Penn State. To me President Emmert sent a strong, strong message and I think people in college athletics are paying attention to that and they better make sure they know what is taking place in and around their programs.
Without a doubt the topic of the Penn State case is not going away anytime soon, but I am looking forward to seeing the focus in college football back on the game itself.
With preseason practice opening at Auburn and other SEC programs in the coming days, I am excited about following what is happening. I believe everything is in place for this to be another great year for the conference in football, especially with the added storylines of how newcomers Texas A&M and Missouri figure into the mix.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.