It is not quite the 'death sentence' for Penn State football, but they will be among the walking dead for quite a few years.
And PSU will vacate its victories from 1998 to 2011. So the NCAA is rewriting the past? One might think that the moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on. But an immediate consequence of this vacation will be that Joe Paterno is dropped from the record books as the winningest Division 1 college football coach ever.
My hope was that the NCAA would punish the Penn State Administration but not the current roster of players; the penalties announced seem to be oriented that way.
FWIW: I remember irritiating someone back in 1986 with my bold pronouncement that the NCAA, Fidel Castro, and the North Koreans were the three great unreformed dictatorships of our era, and that the NCAA was lijkely to outlast the other two. I'm still waiting! And still betting on the NCAA.