For 10 weeks Lisa Olson waited for justice. For 10 weeks Lisa Olson endured the taunts of Boston sports fans who brayed at her for doing nothing more criminal than her job: to give them their daily fix on their pro football team. For 10 weeks Lisa Olson listened as the rumormongers ground out malicious gossip that she was secretly sleeping with the players, that the real reason she was in the New England Patriots locker room wasn't to cover the beat for the Boston Herald, but to look at naked football players.

Then, finally, the independent counsel's 60-page report to the NFL commissioner was released, and far from discrediting Olson's story -- as the rumormongers promised -- the report validated it. It concludes Olson most assuredly was sexually harassed by a group of Patriots players. While she was conducting an interview in the locker room, two or three players "modeled" themselves before her, "modeling" being a genteel way of saying they deliberately exposed their genitals to her. One "adjusted" his genitals and shook his hips in an exaggerated fashion. One, standing at arm's length from her side, naked, said, "Here's what you want. Do you want to take a bite out of this?"

Strangely, the report did not name these "two or three players," but said that no one who was there -- including the Patriots public relations director and some players -- made any attempt to stop it.

When presented with these conclusions, the NFL commissioner, a Washington lawyer, stated this was "a serious incident ... behavior that is not acceptable and cannot be tolerated."

And he fined three players and the team.

Chump change all around.

Zeke Mowatt, who earns $650,000 a year, was fined $12,500. Michael Timpson, who earns $140,000, and Robert Perryman, who earns $125,000, were fined $5,000 apiece. The Patriots, who realize $33 million in television revenue alone, were fined $50,000, half of which is to go toward "preparing instructional material for all NFL personnel on responsible dealings with the media." Like what? Like buying bathrobes?

Nobody was suspended.

None of the players missed one minute of football.

Indeed, the only person who suffered any kind of loss in football terms was Lisa Olson, who was taken off the beat; obviously the notoriety of the incident made it untenable for her to continue satisfactorily doing her job.

Zeke Mowatt, Michael Timpson and Robert Perryman are still in the National Football League, and Lisa Olson, who was simply trying to do her work, is not.

This is justice?

In reality, the fines do nothing more than establish the benchmark price at which players can wiggle their waggles at a woman. It's a Guy Thing, You Wouldn't Understand. The week after the Olson incident, Sam Wyche, coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, was fined one week's salary -- about $29,000 -- for refusing to let a female reporter in his locker room. He could have exposed himself and saved $18,000.

The commissioner took about 15 minutes to determine Wyche violated the NFL rule on equal access to the locker room. The commissioner had the Olson report on his desk for 20 days before issuing his decision. You'd expect a violation of the moral code to be more complicated than a violation of the NFL rulebook. But not cheaper.

Ten weeks for this?

Ten weeks to issue a strong report, and then undercut it with a weak ruling that leaves the impression -- contrary to the 60 pages -- that nothing much happened, that the locker-room high jinks just need a little reigning in?

You'll note that for all 10 weeks of this deliberative process nothing got in the way of the Patriots games going on.

And now they can go on better than ever. The NFL has ruled. The guilty have been punished. Case dismissed. Kickoff at 1 p.m.

Everybody but Lisa Olson can concentrate on football again.

The punishment is so laughably tiny it's as if Patriots piggly owner Victor Kiam -- attention Christmas shoppers, this is the same Victor Kiam who makes a healthy income off the underarms and legs of women -- was right when he called the original incident "a flyspeck in the ocean" and suggested Olson was an intruder in the locker room, so, "Why not stand in front of her {naked} if she's an intruder?" In other words: She got what she deserved.

Except she didn't deserve it because 1) she has a legal right to be there, and 2) nobody deserves this. Even if you don't think a woman should be in the locker room, ask yourself how your boss would have handled this if where you work, some men loitered near a female co-worker and grabbed their crotches and made lewd suggestions like, "Do you want to take a bite out of this?" How long would it take for those men to be fired, or at least suspended?

Let's make sure of something: This is not about women in the locker room. That issue can be settled in three words: "Wear a towel." This is about sexual harassment in the workplace. This was solely about Lisa Olson being a woman in a man's world; these men were preening, using their size and strength to humiliate and terrorize a woman. This is about the crude assumption that a woman couldn't possibly be in the locker room for any reason other than to satisfy her sexual urges. This is about aggression by men against a woman in an exercise of power they would never try against other men -- an attempt to punish a woman in crude sexual terms, and with impunity. And this is about the NFL, a man's league, letting them off too easy.