Sorta true, sorta unfair. Yes, the NCAA often takes a soft stance. But much of that comes from the process. Take the Ole Miss situation as an example. Everyone knows that Ole Miss paid players and many people were openly whispering about how it was being done, but now that the NCAA is actively investigating, many of those same sources who were bragging a few years ago have now clammed up. Push too hard and Ole Miss continues to drag the process on in appeals and then potentially challenges the NCAA’s authority in court ---- which ties up money and other human/investigative resources that the NCAA HQs doesn’t really have to spare.
(Also see the UNC playbook on this)
So, often, the easy way out is to slap a school on the wrist, take down a banner, asterisk a few lines in the record books and let the NCAA take a 1/2 win (or a 1/3 win) and move on to the next problem program. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.