“No one feels good about this. No one feels like this is a positive situation,” Emmert said at a news conference Monday morning. “This is an unprecedented, painful chapter in the history of intercollegiate athletics.”

NCAA Executive Committee Chairman Ed Ray, left, answers questions about the penalties against Penn State as NCAA President Mark Emmert looks on during a news conference in Indianapolis on Monday.  (Michael Conroy/AP) (Michael Conroy/AP)

Executive Committee Chairman Edward Ray, president of Oregon State University, said that the boards “unanimously supported” the sanctions, partly in hopes that they would serve as “a stark wake-up call to everyone involved in college sports.”

College presidents, especially those at Division I schools, sometimes have difficulty controlling their athletic departments, where coaches usually have the largest salaries of anyone on campus, student athletes are well-known celebrities and alumni rally. At the core of the problems at Penn State, the NCAA concluded, was an unhealthy culture in the athletic department.

Susan DelPonte, center, watches a television in the student center on the Penn State University campus as the NCAA sanctions against the football program are announced. (Gene J. Puskar/AP) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Emmert is a former college president himself, having most recently left the University of Washington when he assumed the NCAA presidency in 2010. At the time, Emmert seemed an odd pick to some for the high-profile job. Now, he’s being hailed by sports commentators for making the NCAA more aggressive in its enforcement.

That action taken Monday is not just against the athletic department but the school as a whole. The consent decree was signed by Penn State President Rodney A. Erickson.

Penn State presidents used to be leaders within the NCAA, not the ones agreeing to sanctions. Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was once active within the NCAA and at one point was chairman of the Division I Board of Directors. Spanier was ousted by university trustees soon after Jerry Sandusky was arrested and charged with child sex abuse, and an internal investigation released this month concluded that “Spanier failed in his duties as President.”

Here’s who sits on those boards now, according to NCAA rosters:

Executive Committee

* Chairman: Oregon State University President Edward Ray (Pac-12 Conference)

* University of Missouri, Columbia , Athletic Director Michael F. Alden  (Big 12 Conference)

* University of New Mexico President David Schmidly (Mountain West Conference)

* Texas Tech University President Guy H. Bailey (Big 12 Conference)

* University of South Carolina, Columbia, President Harris Pastides (Southeastern Conference)

* Northern Illinois University President John G. Peters (Mid-American Conference)

* University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft (Big East Conference)

* Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon (Big Ten Conference)

* Wake Forest University President  Nathan O. Hatch (Atlantic Coast Conference)

 * Middle Tennessee State University President Sidney McPhee (Sun Belt Conference)

* Utah State University President Stan L. Albrecht (Western Athletic Conference)

* Weber State University President F. Ann Millner (Big Sky Conference)

* Jacksonville State University President William A. Meehan (Ohio Valley Conference)

* Hampton University President William R. Harvey (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)

* University of California, Riverside, Chancellor Timothy P. White (Big West Conference)

* Wright State University President David R. Hopkins (Horizon League)

* University of Portland President E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C  (West Coast Conference)

*  Regis University Athletic Director Ann Martin (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference)

*  West Texas A&M University President J. Patrick O'Brien (Lone Star Conference)

* Grand Valley State University President Thomas Haas (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)

* University of Redlands Athletic Director Jeffrey Martinez (Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)

*  Gustavus Adolphus College President Jack R. Ohle (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)

*  Western Connecticut State University President James Schmotter (Little East Conference)

Division I Board of Directors

* Chairwoman: USF President Genshaft (Big East Conference)

* University of California, Los Angeles, Chancellor Gene D. Block (Pac-12 Conference)

* Rice University President David Leebron (Conference USA)

* UNM President Schmidly (Mountain West Conference)

* OSU President Ray (Pac-12 Conference)

* Texas Tech President Bailey (Big 12 Conference)

* USC President Pastides (Southeastern Conference)

* California State University, Fresno, President John D. Welty (Mountain West Conference)

* NIU President Peters (Mid-American Conference)

* MSU President Simon (Big Ten Conference)

* WFU President  Hatch (Atlantic Coast Conference)

 * MTSU President McPhee (Sun Belt Conference)

* USU President Albrecht (Western Athletic Conference)

* Cornell University President David J. Skorton (The Ivy League)

* Weber State President Millner (Big Sky Conference)

* University of Delaware President Patrick T. Harker (Colonial Athletic Association)

* JSU President Meehan (Ohio Valley Conference)

* Hampton President Harvey (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)

* Southern Illinois University at Carbondale President Rita Hartung Cheng (Missouri Valley Conference)

* UCR Chancellor White (Big West Conference)

* Wright State President Hopkins (Horizon League)

* Portland President Beauchamp, C.S.C  (West Coast Conference)

For more about Penn State, check out these articles:

Penn State football punished by NCAA over Sandusky scandal

Joe Paterno stripped of 111 victories; no longer winningest coach

Joe Paterno’s final game as Penn State coach

Paterno library keeps its name