When Hofstra disbanded its team, the student athletes were made to make choices. They either had to find a new school/team or decide to stay and not play football. Hofstra offered to honor the scholarship commitments to the existing scholarship recipients but the student athletes needed to decide to be either or. I don't know how many decided to stay and how many decided to go but the stress that they were under by this decision that they were forced to make was no fault of their own.
The current Penn State student football players are also in a situation that is no fault of their own. They simply made a decision to attend Penn State or accept a scholarship to PSU that was probably the best decision they could have made with the facts known at that time. Last fall's season probably wasn't the best season to be a Penn State Football player. The future, though, for these athletes will be different. I don't want to predict if that future will be better or worse.
Yes, the players can look for another school. But being able to join a football team at another school doesn't mean that academically these individual students won't pay a cost. I may be naive but some of the student athletes may be actually attending college to get an education rather that using the college football program as an NFL minor league. Some may be going to school to get a degree or, gasp, perhaps learn something to prepare them for the rest of their lives. Most schools do not accept transfers of seniors. Many have degree requirements that could extend their time in college. No, most of these athletes are not going to the NFL. I wonder if the NCAA realized that they were students as well as athletes.
Did the current crop of players do anything wrong related to the cause of the sanctions? No. What about the players who played on the teams that got their wins vacated? They didn't either. While not to the extent of Sandusky's victims, the current student athletes are victims. I feel sorry for them. Don't know if everyone (or perhaps even anyone) in the NCAA does.
PS: If they had a poll asking which figure was the pedophile do you think more people would pick Paterno or Sandusky. What about in 5 years?
PPS: Wonder if taxpayers need to chip in for the $60MM fine (forget about the other fines from the Big10,etc). After all, it is a state school and I think that some of it is funded by state appropriation from tax dollars . Just a thought.