What Penn State is up against

Trying to clearly explain what the NCAA sanctions mean for Penn State as a program and, in particular, from a recruiting standpoint in the immediate aftermath of the announcement is like asking someone to row out to the middle of the Hudson River and detail what's at the bottom by just looking down.

The ultimate answer will come in time. But for now, we can break down just what coach Bill O'Brien and his staff faces moving forward.

Arguably the punishment that will create the greatest obstacle for the Nittany Lions' ability to stay competitive will be the loss of scholarships. The NCAA reduced Penn State's annual scholarships by 10 (from 25 to 15) starting with this current 2013 class. Possibly even more crippling is the limit on total scholarships to 65 (20 less than the 85 allowed by NCAA rules) starting in 2014. In addition to the scholarship reductions, the NCAA is allowing current and incoming players the freedom to transfer to any school and immediately be eligible.