You can't throw a stone around here without hitting someone connected to Penn State.
Students, parents, alumni, hardcore fans -- they're everywhere.
And they're proud.
After the NCAA slapped Penn State with unprecedented sanctions this week in the wake of the Freeh Report, they were upset -- perhaps understandably so.
The athletic association was too quick to judge, its penalties too severe and those now being punished had nothing to do with Jerry Sandusky's crimes and the alleged cover-up.
Some say the NCAA had no business at all getting involved in a criminal matter that has nothing to do with the game of football.
While it is certainly a criminal matter, and one that hasn't been fully resolved by the courts, it does, unfortunately, revolve around Penn State's football program.
Sandusky, who used his association with the team to lure his victims, was convicted last month of sexually abusing 10 boys. That is his crime and his alone.
But top administrators and former Coach Joe Paterno put football ahead of protecting children, allowing a monster to continue his horrific crimes for 15 years, the Freeh Report charges.
And that is an indictment of the program and the culture that worshipped it.
"Not only does the NCAA have the authority to act in this case, we also have the responsibility to say that such egregious behavior is not only against our by-laws and constitution but also against our value system and basic human decency," said Ed Ray, chairman of the NCAA executive committee.
The action also was taken to "to make sure the university establishes an athletic culture and daily mindset in which football will never again be placed ahead of education, nurturing and protecting young people," NCAA president Mark Emmert said.
One can argue that's a case of the pot criticizing the kettle, that the association overseeing and promoting college athletics is in no position to criticize an athletics "culture."
The NCAA's own reputation perhaps has been spotty, but if it didn't act in this case it might just as well have packed it in altogether. This horrific scandal has been a wake-up call to many, including, apparently, the NCAA.
The association levied an unprecedented $60 million fine, the money to go toward child abuse prevention and awareness. It banned the football team from postseason play for four years and cut the number of football scholarships it can award. The NCAA also erased 14 years of victories, wiping out 111 of Paterno's wins and stripping him of his standing as the most successful coach in the history of big-time college football.
The sanctions are severe, yes. But out of line? No. This is a shocking case that required a harsh response.
As in most cases when the NCAA sanctions a team, the innocent unfortunately suffer as well. But with Penn State, the association tried to mitigate that damage.
It made it easier for football players to transfer to another school and play without having to sit out a season. Also, players can keep their scholarships at Penn State, regardless of whether they compete on the team.
It's not perfect, but these players aren't victims, either. They have options.
That's more than can be said for 10, possibly more, little boys -- who, by the way, know a thing or two about "severe."
Think about them before shedding a tear for a football team.