You know what would have been appropriate in the case of The NCAA vs. Boise State? It would have been appropriate for the NCAA to look over the violations and say, "You know what? This stuff was clearly inadvertent, and more to the point, it was nothing. No sanctions for you. The NCAA isn't into sanctioning schools for inadvertent piles of nothing."
Instead, the NCAA justified its existence, not to mention its hundreds of man-hours into the Boise "case," by giving the Broncos three years of probation along with some small scholarship and practice restrictions. All in all, the NCAA slapped Boise State on the wrist. Which is nice, but this would have been nicer:
Patting Boise on the head, telling the Broncos, "No harm, no foul," and calling it a day.
That would have been appropriate, given that Boise already had self-imposed penalties on itself, including some lost scholarships and lost practice time. The NCAA then added to the scholarship-and-practice reduction, and wrapped a bow on the whole thing by imposing three years of probation -- as if Boise is guilty of something nefarious, something North Carolina-like or Ohio State-like or Miami-like.
Nonsense. Boise State basically committed some bookkeeping errors in terms of housing and transportation for athletes in the summer, including the ridiculous sin of allowing one athlete to bunk on the couch of another athlete.
Anyway, Boise State will survive this, especially if it stays out of trouble over the next three years. Then again, according to this very case, the NCAA has defined "trouble" with a bit too broad a brush.