INDIANAPOLIS -- NCAA President Mark Emmert believes the "death penalty" should be an option for college sports' most egregious rule-breakers.

He just wants it to be used judiciously.

Nearly a quarter-century after the NCAA's harshest sanction destroyed SMU's football program, the allegations swirling at Miami have rekindled the debate.

Critics contend the SMU case proves the punishment was too severe, pointing to the damage it caused not only to the school's football program but to the now defunct Southwest Conference. Supporters say it would send a message that the NCAA is backing up its tough talk.

Miami is the focus of the death penalty talk amid accusations that 72 former and current Hurricanes athletes -- most of them football players -- received improper benefits and that some coaches knew about it.