UNIVERSITY PARK - Big numbers such as the $60 million fine and vacating 111 wins from Joe Paterno stand out from Penn State's NCAA sanctions, and from a competitive standpoint, there's another number that jumps off the page.
That would be 65, which is the number of scholarships the Nittany Lion football team will be limited to for four seasons, from 2014-17.
It's tough enough trying to compete in the Big Ten with 85 scholarships, and Penn State figures to be at a big disadvantage in overall talent and depth having 20 fewer scholarships to offer than its opponents.
"Penn State now can't afford to miss on any of its player evaluations," said Sean Fitz of Lions247.com, who has extensive experience covering PSU recruiting. "Numbers are fairly tight at some positions as it is with the 85 scholarship limit, but the room for error with 20 fewer to hand out means that having a player be a bust could haunt depth at any given position for a few years.
"Every scholarship at the 85 limit is accounted for, but there is room for error. With 65, every scholarship is absolutely critical."
Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell told the Mirror on Sunday that if Penn State were to lose 20 scholarships a year, "You might as well give them the death penalty. That's more than crippling. That's a death blow."
There was some confusion about the scholarship sanctions early Monday because NCAA president Mark Emmert, in his news conference, initially said it would be a reduction of 10 scholarships a year for four years. Starting with the 2013 class, PSU can offer only 15 scholarships - or 10 fewer than typically allowed - per year for four years.
The bad news became much worse a little later when it was revealed that, starting in 2014, the Lions will have to cap their overall scholarship number at 65 per year.
By comparison, Division I-AA schools such as Delaware, Holy Cross and Appalachian State can offer 63 scholarships total.
Farrell could not be reached for comment Monday but addressed the scholarship reductions with this tweet: "Did #PennState just become #temple or is it more #Villanova?" - Villanova is a I-AA football school.
Penn State will not be able to offer 85 total scholarships or 25 a year until 2018. With such a limited number, coupled with the four-year bowl ban and possibility of the team struggling on the field for a number of years, the question becomes: How will the Lions be able to lure many, if any, top recruits during the sanction period?
Bill O'Brien has coached in the NFL, and he can use that as a recruiting tool, along with Penn State's great facilities and tradition. Whether that will work effectively or not won't be known for several years.
O'Brien's first challenge is convincing players who already have picked Penn State to stay true to those commitments, and he spent a lot of time Monday talking with recruits by phone.
Four-star Ohio cornerback Ross Douglas decommitted from Penn State shortly after the sanctions were announced Monday. That's a big loss for the program, which is hurting for depth in the secondary.
"There's 12 kids committed now, and I would say 10 of them are up in the air, and about seven of them are still saying, 'no comment,'" said Ryan Snyder, who covers PSU recruiting for BlueWhite Illustrated and was in contact with numerous recruits Monday.
The only two recruits Snyder believes are 100 percent committed to PSU are defensive end Garrett Sickels and offensive lineman Brendan Mahon, both four-star recruits.
Adam Breneman, the No. 1 tight end recruit in the country, sent a statement out to the media Monday that he's still committed to Penn State. Snyder, however, said he gets the sense that Breneman is keeping his options open.
"There's still a chance he could potentially look around if the right offers come in," Snyder said.
And what about the gem of the recruiting class, quarterback Christian Hackenberg?
"I do think Hackenberg will at least give Penn State a good shot at keeping him," Snyder said. "I think he wants to stay at Penn State. I don't really think he and his whole family have 100 percent thought this all out yet."
Hackenberg has said he would like to be able to play in a bowl game in his career, but he may not get that opportunity if he comes to Penn State.
One source told the Mirror that O'Brien is doing everything he can to keep Hackenberg and Breneman committed, since they are the "lynchpins" of the recruiting class.
If either or both of those top recruits decommit, it could start a chain reaction and lead to other top players spurning Penn State.
"I would say the majority of the class is still uncertain with what they want to do," Snyder said.