SMU famously had its football program shut down for two years in the late 1980s after repeated and flagrant violations of NCAA rules, most having to do with the payment of players. The team has had its moments since then — June Jones showed that it’s possible to have a winner at the Hilltop, and the squad’s upset of then-No. 11-ranked Houston last month finally gave the program a signature win — but the program has still never fully recovered.
Which is probably why the NCAA has been hesitant to use its nuclear option since then. The closest it has come to handing out such a harsh punishment was in 2012, when several Penn State officials (including coach Joe Paterno) were implicated in the investigation and eventual conviction of former assistant Jerry Sandusky on multiple counts of sexual abuse of children.
You could argue that what happened at Penn State was way worse than what went on at SMU, and I would agree with you. You could also argue that what happened at Penn State had less to do with the football program. I wouldn’t agree with that, but could understand the argument. So I guess I could see why Penn State’s football team was never shut down. But what happened at Baylor? It is beyond horrific and it seems that blame for the moral decay and monstrous actions and cover-up and everything else could be assigned to the football team, the athletic department, and just about every level of the university as a whole, including the board of regents, president, and chancellor.
Honestly, Baylor’s absolute selling out of the values it claimed to stand for, its sacrificing its female students at the altar of Big Football, makes what happened at SMU look like getting executed for kiting bad checks. If Baylor is allowed to live after this, then SMU will never have any company on this particular Wikipedia entry.