STATE COLLEGE - The Maxwell Football Club plans to honor Penn State's seniors for the players' commitment and leadership during a challenging season.
The 31 seniors will receive the Thomas Brookshier Spirit Award after the Nittany Lions finished 8-4 following the NCAA sanctions for the school's handling of the child molestation scandal involving retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
The seniors helped keep most of the team together following the penalties. The past year also included the passing of former coach Joe Paterno and the transition to successor Bill O'Brien's tenure as coach.
Maxwell president Ron Jaworski in a statement praised the seniors and called their accomplishments "astonishing."
"With the difficult circumstances surrounding the program it would have been easy for many of these players to look for a different situation to finish their college careers," Jaworski said. "But they chose to stay and support their teammates, coaches and university."
The award will be formally presented at the Maxwell Club's awards gala on March 1 in Atlantic City, N.J.
Separately, O'Brien was also named a finalist Tuesday for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award, which is handed out in partnership with the National Football Foundation. O'Brien is also a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award by the Football Writers Association of America.