"NCAA says games didn't exist," he wrote. "I got a metal plate in my neck to prove it did. I almost died playing 4 PSU, punishment or healing?!?" Later, in a telephone interview, Taliaferro, a newly elected member of Penn State's board of trustees, said he had a "knee-jerk reaction" initially but softened his stance after thinking about it.
"We are all emotional right now," said Taliaferro, a Cherry Hill lawyer. "I've always prided myself on not making decisions when I'm emotional. It's imperative we have time to talk with one another.
"This is our time to show we can come together and we are willing and prepared to do what's right and move the university in a direction we can all be proud of."
Some players, however, weren't as measured.
Devon Still, a much decorated defensive tackle on last year's Nittany Lions, said on Twitter that he was "lost as to how taking away wins solves anything, especially when the ppl being punished did nothing wrong."
Justin King, a defensive back for the Lions from 2005 through 2007, also objected to the victories being removed from the record. "All those gassers and treadmill tests and 5 a.m. runs . . . for nothing," he tweeted. "We worked extremely hard as PSU student athletes to be productive."
Another voice heard was that of former star running back Evan Royster, who said on Twitter, "So I lost every college football game I ever played in?"
The NCAA decision knocked Paterno out of the No. 1 spot on the all-time list, his 409 career wins being reduced to 298, and put Grambling coach Eddie Robinson first with 408. Former West Virginia and Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is now the leader in FBS wins with 377.
However, former all-American linebacker LaVar Arrington, who has been outspoken since the scandal surfaced last November with Sandusky's arrest on child sexual-abuse charges, accepted the penalties and noted that the rebuilding process can begin.
"A strong punishment was necessary," Arrington wrote on his Washington Post blog. "Otherwise I don't think it would have been accepted by those looking on from around the country. Now the school, the students and the State College community can face the dawn of a new day. Sure it won't be easy moving on from here, but sometimes turning away from the past is the only way to see a bright future. . . . If Penn State is to ever have a chance at restoring its reputation, it starts with one positive action at a time."
No current players commented on the NCAA's penalties, rushing past media members as they exited the Lasch Football Building after a team meeting with head coach Bill O'Brien.
O'Brien, who has yet to coach his first game, said in a statement he is "committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes." But with a four-year postseason ban, he faces a huge task to convince his current players not to transfer and to attract high school players.
But Taliaferro believes that O'Brien will be able to move the team forward.
"I think he's going to do everything he can to lead this team through tough times," Taliaferro said.
Contact Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @joejulesinq. Read his blog, Lion Eyes, at www.philly.com/sports/lioneyes
Inquirer staff writer Susan Snyder contributed to this article.