As a neutral observer, I have no emotional attachement to whether Florida State retains 14 wins or not that the NCAA just forfeited.
Is the penalty excessive? It sounds like it on the face of it.
I do know what is unquestionably excessive though. The amount of money a state institution is about to spend to defend whether or not it should be acknowledge as winning some GAMES. The guy they hired won't come cheap. Could the money they spend on this likely futile effort be better used on some academic facilities? Some financial aid to students? Some starving children in a third world county?
Possbily they are happier in their hunger knowing that Florida State spent a lot of money so they could say they won some games.
Possibly some kids that are having a hard time buying the unconsciounably expense college textbooks are happier as they try to work their way thru school knowing that no money was available to help them out because FSU needed to say they won some games.
One thing FSU accomplishes by turning this into an expensive legal battle is certain. In modern times no one is fully responsible for anything, and any outcome one doesn't like is certain to make a run thru the courthouse that is expensive for someone involved. Florida State is reinforcing its support of that much despised but often acted upon attitude.
Congratulations, Florida State, you win one contest for sure ... being an institutional brat.