How would you feel if you had done nothing wrong, but because of someone else’s crime, you were stripped of accomplishments you had earned legitimately? I’d be plenty pissed off, and I would not rest until the situation was corrected.

Like most other people, a certain percentage of teachers and professors engage in dreadful behavior and commit crimes, and they are sometimes convicted.

Take, for example, Rafael Robb, a former professor at the University of Pennsylvania, convicted in 2007 of gruesomely murdering his wife.

MERCER, Pa. – When he finally stopped swinging a metal bar at her, Rafael Robb said, he glanced down at his wife crumpled on the kitchen floor.

Her battered face was unrecognizable.

“Like one of those horror movies,” he said. “Like Frankenstein – except it was in my house.”

Robb was a University of Pennsylvania economics professor when he bludgeoned his 49-year-old wife, Ellen Gregory Robb, in their Upper Merion home seven years ago.

The killing shocked the region.

After staging the scene to look like a burglary gone bad, Robb confessed, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, and was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison.

I remember the case quite well and I think he got off very lightly. So do a lot of people. Except that is not the point of this post. My point is, can anyone imagine penalizing the professor’s students for his behavior? Like, say, taking away all credits and grades they earned in his classes? Such a thing would be so unfair as to be unimaginable. So illogical as to be ridiculous.

Don’t laugh. An entire football team had hard-earned victories erased by Orwellian apparatchiks who engaged in equally illogical and equally ridiculous conduct when the NCAA stripped the Penn State football team of its victories, not because of anything they did, but because of the crimes of a football coach.

The NCAA is being sued by the estate of Joe Paterno:

Paterno’s estate and family and the other plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in May, saying the NCAA had no authority to impose sanctions based on criminal matters that were not related to the sports it oversees.

Paul Kelly, another lawyer for the plaintiffs, explained how former coaches Jay Paterno and William Kenney were harmed by comments critical of the way the coaching staff handled Sandusky.

Being the subject of the NCAA’s legal settlement with Penn State makes a person “radioactive in the coaching world, and most other programs aren’t going to want to touch you,” Kelly said.

Today’s arguments also centered on the procedures the NCAA used to determine penalties.

“They cut a new path with this case, no question about it,” Leete told the lawyers.

The lawsuit seeks a court order voiding the agreement between the NCAA and Penn State last year, which included a $60 million fine, a four-year ban on post-season play and the elimination of 112 wins during the final years of the Paterno era. It also imposed a temporary reduction in scholarships, a penalty the NCAA softened last month.

Johnson said the erasure of Paterno’s wins was not a sanction against Paterno.

“Coach Paterno doesn’t own those wins,” Johnson said. “Those are wins at Penn State University at a time when he was an employee.”

The culprit was a child molester named Jerry Sandusky. Not only did the team commit no crime, they were totally unaware of what Sandusky was doing, and no one claims otherwise. (After being pilloried in the press for not doing enough about Sandusky, Paterno died in disgrace. Apparently the team is being punished for Paterno’s omissions too.)

This is one of those outrages that needs to be corrected, lest this phenomenon spread. Whether the Paterno family suit will accomplish that, I don’t know, but I hope simple logic and fairness eventually prevail.