Unprecedented in every way

Updated: July 23, 2012, 8:44 PM ET
By Don Van Natta Jr. | ESPN.com

Everything was unprecedented -- the NCAA's decision to circumvent its own investigative procedures, the sweeping scope and severity of the penalties (including the erasure of 111 wins for Joe Paterno) and the quick acceptance of the crippling punishments by Penn State University.

In a decision reached in record time and marked by strong language, the NCAA's leaders used historic sanctions against Penn State to send an overriding message: protecting the safety of children is far more important ...

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