Penn State University was hard hit with NCAA penalties Monday.
The NCAA claims the university's "football first" culture enabled the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Penn State is facing a $60 million fine, a ban from post-season play for four years, the loss of 20 scholarships for four years and the loss of all wins from 1998 to 2011. Coach Joe Paterno is no longer college football's coach with the most wins.
Athletic directors for two Abilene universities said the NCAA's penalties set a precedent.
"I think they've opened Pandora's Box and the scope of what I originally and traditionally thought of the NCAA has broadened quite a bit," said Ron Holmes, director of athletics at McMurry University. Holmes also said the NCAA is going down a "slippery slope" by penalizing Penn State.
"If we're going to punish what they did at Penn State, they're gonna have to start looking at kids with criminal records," he said.
Holmes said academic penalties will victimize potential recruits because Penn State can no longer offer as many scholarships.
John Neese, director of athletics at Hardin-Simmons University, also considered the penalties unprecedented but thought the NCAA is looking at the bigger picture.
"While there were no athletic rules that were broken, I think what they're saying is that there was a lack of institutional control and a lack of leadership and that's why we're stepping in," Neese said.
Although the academic consequences may be considered unfair to students and in some ways worse than giving the football program the death penalty, Neese said: "I think most people would agree at the end of the day when they look at how many things happened at that campus and how many things were kept from the proper authorities that the NCAA did the proper thing even though this was an unprecedented move."
KTXS attempted to contact Abilene Christian University's athletic director, but he was unavailable for comment today.