In announcing devastating sanctions against Penn State early Monday morning, NCAA President Mark Emmert praised the cooperation of PSU president Rodney Erickson and Karen Peetz, the new chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Just imagine how much harder the sledgehammer would have shattered the Nittany Nation if Emmert actually didn't like Erickson and Peetz.
Or if Graham Spanier and the rest of Penn State's former leadership team, including Joe Paterno, were still in the saddle.
Oregon State President Ed Ray, chairman of the NCAA's executive committee, minced no words, saying if Penn State's previous administration "would have been as transparent, collaborative and cooperative (as Erickson), we would not be having this conversation."
For the record, Monday's press briefing was not a conversation.
It was an indictment that included the words "civility, honesty, human decency, horrific, egregious, responsibility, perverse and unconscionable" and, siding with the damning Freeh report, condemned Penn State's culture and its handling of the Sandusky scandal.
Long criticized for being a passive organization that took too long to police its member schools, the NCAA moved swiftly and decisively in delivering unprecedented sanctions to Penn State and its football program, including a $60 million fine, a crushing four-year postseason ban, a reduction of 10 scholarships per year (from 25 to 15 beginning in 2013 with a team maximum of 65) and the stripping of the school's wins from 1998-2011.
The university at least took Joe Paterno's statue out of the ground intact: The NCAA, reaching further than it had to, cut him off at the knees and adjusted his victory total from a Division I record 409 to 298.
There is no question the sanctions aren't fair to this year's team and its new coaching staff.
But as this case sickeningly proved, life isn't fair. Just ask Sandusky's victims - one of whom was seen being abused by Sandusky in a shower by a Penn State assistant coach who tried to forward the matter only to have it die in the email of his superiors.
"Athletics overwhelmed core values," Emmert said.
In sending a "stark wake-up call" to its entire membership, the NCAA made an example of Penn State not because of Sandusky but because of Penn State's handling, or non-handling, of Sandusky.
Though harsh, the NCAA's verdict - even though it strayed from its traditional investigation and empowered its president and even though the Freeh report didn't interview some key players - is difficult to criticize.
To its credit, Penn State, eager to move on, is accepting of the consequences and signed a consent decree agreeing to the sanctions. Had it appealed, the case could drag out even longer, creating more uncertainty and finger pointing, and perhaps ending with the same result.
Penn State did get one piece of good news Monday with the affirmation that Bill O'Brien, who has impressed so many in the way he's handled the fallout from this crisis, pledged a longterm commitment.
Whether all the current players stay and recruits previously committed for 2013 are willing to play for a program that won't be eligible for the Big Ten championship or postseason bowl games is another question.
O'Brien's challenge appears insurmountable, but if he stays committed, he still has wonderful facilities to tout, a passionate fan base and a strong tradition, albeit one now tainted.
As a former NFL assistant, O'Brien is used to managing a smaller roster as opposed to the bloated squads of college football today - many players from which are redshirted, tried at multiple positions and don't even get a chance until they've been in the program for three or four years.
Penn State football won't be competing for a national championship or a Big Ten title anytime soon, and the focus will be limited to a regular season.
Victories may not bring euphoria, and losses, unlike the past decade plus, won't be the end of the world.
People may actually view it for what it's supposed to be - a game - and after the last eight months, that may actually be refreshing.
Neil Rudel writes about Penn State football from the Altoona Mirror. Follow him on Twitter @neilrudel.