Personally, I feel it is one of the most useless punishments for any kind of crime or infraction in the history of rule-breaking.
When a SINGLE baseball player cheats in MLB, his stats are tainted. Or even in the NFL, if you are caught cheating, you get banned for a couple of games. In the NBA, you can bring a gun into a locker room and most sports pundits just chuckle. You can knock a fan out and still be a respected player (if not, person) as long as you are talented.But when you are a student-athlete, and you cheat, you tarnish the image of an entire institution. This is the problem. They are holding the schools responsible for these kids. Up front, this is the logical choice. But in this era of sports, I think they have to go a little deeper. People like Reggie Bush, Cam Newton, and Terrell Pryor are learning at younger and younger ages that they can do what they want and face little to no consequences. As long as you are an outstanding athlete, it's ok to accept money from agents and boosters, and to trample the rules and regulations that are set up to keep everything fair for everybody.
This practice of 'retro-active removal of school wins' is outdated. Way too much money is gained and lost on a single win. If you aren't undefeated, you aren't a national championship contender. If you lose the bowl game, you don't get the dough. Arkansas doesn't just magically get millions of dollars, a parade, interest from the NFL, and national exposure now just because Ohio has wins erased.
The first thing they need to do is establish a set of guidelines for players joining the NFL from college. You play by the rules in college, or you don't get to play in the NFL. If a kid cheats on his tests, ban him for a year. If he causes a post-season ban or a loss of scholarships, ban him for two years. If he takes large cash payments from an agent, ban him for 5 years. Why the hell would these kids care if the universities football program is strapped to the wall and used for target practice? They still get to make money, get the car, the super-model wife, and the mansion.
A different angle must be taken. There are too many students and too many schools to just erase a season or a few wins. It has no impact on the people that commit the actual infractions. Pete Carroll got a head coaching job in the NFL. Reggie Bush got one of the biggest contracts ever (for that time). This isn't 1954, where half these universities are just little babies, clawing to get their name out there. This is 2011. We are in the digital age. We are born with a new type of freedom these days, but we still must be held accountable. Something has to change.