July 23, 2012 will go down as the darkest day in Penn State athletics and the storied history of Pennsylvania sports.
The NCAA, in agreement with Penn State, determined that the university violated 12 provisions of the NCAA constitution and bylaws in its handling of the situation that mushroomed into the Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal.
The speed with which the unprecedented penalties were determined and the Joe Paterno statue was removed from Beaver Stadium shows that Penn State wants to move on. The agreement by Penn State not to appeal the NCAA's penalties reinforces that.
And it is time to move on.
Many people are still confused and hurt by the scandal, and many don't think Paterno was treated fairly by his own administration or the Freeh report, which did not interview several key witnesses in the case - including Paterno, who passed away in January.
Penn State fans remain rightfully upset by the penalties and the statue's removal but without radical action, the wounds caused by the adults who failed to protect children from Sandusky, a convicted sex offender, will continue to fester.
One positive from the NCAA's penalties is that Penn State will pay a $60 million fine - the average revenue from one football season - over five years to fund an endowment to assist child-sexual abuse victims and develop programs to prevent child-sexual abuse.
Despite the deep pain felt by the Nittany Nation, we must not focus so much on the anger against the current Penn State leaders and the NCAA that we forget the victims whose childhoods were ripped from them as a result of the child-sex abuse scandal.
The actions taken by the university and the NCAA over the last two days deeply hurts the Penn State family.
The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education have yet to weigh in about the handling of the scandal, but we must look at July 23, 2012, as the day when the real healing began for Penn State.