We've had the initial, harrowing reports that something was amiss in not-so-Happy Valley.
We've had Joe Paterno, the most iconic of American sporting heroes, defrocked and die.
We've had goober students chanting “We are, Penn State!”, not realizing the lost honor of their university.
We've even had Jerry Sandusky convicted of the vilest acts imaginable.
And still the hits keep coming on just how wretched is the Penn State scandal. To the point where some call for the NCAA to get involved, slap the Nittany Lions with lack of institutional control and put Penn State on probation.
The latest atrocity: emails that show Paterno swayed Penn State officials, including athletic director Tim Curley, vice president Gary Schultz and president Graham Spanier, from turning the Sandusky investigation over to police.
I'm all for anything that brings Penn State to justice. All for anything that forever slays the myth of the idyllic Nittany existence.
But not NCAA involvement.
NCAA probation trivializes Sandusky's crimes. Marginalizes Sandusky's victims. Mocks Penn State's shame.
What happened at Penn State was not lack of institutional control. What happened at Penn State was absolute institutional control.
NCAA probation is what the Southwest Conference schools deserved for all their rogue-booster violations. What OU and OSU deserved when they ran afoul of NCAA rules. What Southern Cal and Miami and North Carolina and Ohio State and Kentucky deserve for putting winning above integrity.
NCAA probation is not the answer for heinous crimes and ruined lives.
And frankly, that's not the NCAA's responsibility. The NCAA is up to its eyeballs in enforcement. Cleaning the streets is a full-time job. NCAA rules exist to keep a level playing field. To maintain competition as healthy as it can be.
Now we want the NCAA to be the moral police, too? We want the NCAA to judge the content of someone's character, when it has nothing to do with Penn State's ability to beat Purdue?
I know, you can draw a dotted line that Paterno's exalted status helped the Nittany Lions recruit and maintain a certain standard of football. But to quantify it? I don't think so.
In the same way, it's absurd when state legislatures want to make NCAA rules black-letter law. Elected leaders should have enough to worry about without trying to do the NCAA's job.
Just as the NCAA has plenty to do without doing the state's job.
The university of Paterno, Curley, Schultz and Spanier doesn't need to be on probation. Curley, Schultz and Spanier need to be in jail, for obstruction of justice or conspiracy to commit rape or whatever Centre County officials can make stick.
Now, if Penn State itself wants to show a little humanitarianism and self-punish, great. Penn State largely cleaned house, which was much needed, but couldn't even bring itself to stay home from the TicketCity Bowl, when the football program needed to take a deep breath and put away the shoulder pads for many months.
But that lack of wisdom doesn't mean the NCAA should step in.
We do too much of that in society. Ask too much of organizations already stretched to the max.
Asking the NCAA to get involved in criminal cases is like asking our schools to not only educate kids, but to solve the many social ills that burden homes. Asking the NCAA to help prevent another Penn State is like asking the Department of Human Services to solve unsolvable problems.
NCAA probation can't heal dark souls. And it shouldn't try.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.