Some students cried. Another yelled "Oh my God!"
The Penn State community was left numb and saddened Monday in the wake of sweeping sanctions announced by the NCAA that some said unjustly punish student-athletes.
In a morning news conference, NCAA officials announced plans to vacate 112 of the university's football victories from 1998 to 2011, strip it of 10 scholarships a year for the next four years, impose a $60 million fine and ban Penn State from bowl games for four years over the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
The sanctions are among the harshest and most sweeping in NCAA history.
About 100 Penn State students gathered to watch the NCAA news conference at the HUB-Robeson Center on campus. Maddy Pryor described the atmosphere to USA Today as one filled with shock and sadness.
Pryor said while the sanctions as a whole might not be "fair," she knew something had to be done.
But junior public relations major Allen Sheffield said he felt "numb" when he heard the penalties.
"Throughout everything that has happened this past year I've told myself and others repeatedly that the focus has to stay on the victims of the child abuse, not us," he told USA Today. "But now it's at the point where the student-athletes, who were still in grade school when this happened, are being punished."
In a statement, school president Rodney Erickson said Penn State “accepts the penalties," the Philadelphia Comcast Sports Net site reported.
The family of late head football coach Joe Paterno wasn't so agreeable. They said in a statement that the sanctions defamed Paterno's legacy and called them a panicked response to the Sandusky scandal, The Associated Press reported.
"Punishing past, present and future students of the University because of Sandusky's crimes does not serve justice," the family said.