Soapbox caption is soapbox. Scroll if you don't care.
So in 1987, Southern Methodist University got the "death penalty", meaning their football program got suspended, scholarships were lost, coaches and administrators' jobs were lost, etc. They eventually came back, but it's only been in the past few years that they've actually been competitive. SMU's crime? A few rogue boosters were paying some of the "amateur" athletes and the administrators of the program didn't do enough to stop it. Now, compare that to Penn State's years if not decades of endemic harboring and enabling of a sexual predator of children, complete with willfully misleading law enforcement. In addition to all the criminal and civil penalties they face, Penn State shouldn't field a football team for five years.