I've been trying to think of a punishment for transgressions of the magnitude of Penn State's that does not entail completely shutting down the football program, largely due to the effect that would have on other Big
Ten Eleven Twelve Ten (Eleven?) member schools and the conference television contract. I used the Baylor basketball sanctions as a model and cared not a whit about the sanctions' impact on the Penn State community, as that community was responsible for creating a cult of personality unrivaled in college football since the passing of Bear Bryant around a megalomaniacal fraud and liar who knowingly shielded a child rapist so that his team could win a few more football games.
All football players released from their scholarships and allowed to transfer to any school with immediate eligibility. This dampens "but what about the players?" cry. If I were a player, I would be relieved at the opportunity to no longer represent the Penn State football program.
All 2012 and 2013 non-conference games cancelled. Though the four schools affected could theoretically schedule each other, Penn State must pay the cost of any buyouts necessary to shuffle their schedules. Penn State must also pay the full contracted appearance fees where appropriate.
All 2012 and 2013 conference games must be played on the road. The Penn State football stadium would not host any football games on Saturdays, but conference rivals would still be allowed to play their full slate. Some would even pick up an extra home game.
Penn State forfeits 60% of Big Ten television contract money in 2012, and 30% of television contract money in 2013. Penn State does not receive any Big Ten bowl money in 2012 and 2013. I do not think this is normally within the NCAA enforcement abilities, but I suspect the conference and university would be responsive to a strong suggestion from the NCAA if the alternative is to have the program completely shuttered.
Penn State is banned from postseason play for 2012 and 2013. With only eight road games and a roster likely to be decimated by transfers, the Lions are almost certainly not going to be bowl eligible anyway.
Penn State football must forfeit 11 scholarships per year for the next three years. Why eleven? Southern Cal was forced to give up ten per year for three years for refusing to cooperate with the Reggie Bush investigation. Penn State's cover-up of the sexual assault of children is obviously worse. The program would also face reductions of on campus visits, but that is unlikely to matter with only 14 scholarships to give out.
Penn State football is on probation for five years. Just in case anyone is stupid enough to do something else against NCAA regulations in the near future.
All of this would likely reduce Penn State to the level of an Indiana punching bag for a time, but at least they would get to keep their statue.