Several Penn State coaches and student-athletes from seven Big Ten Champion and one NCAA champion Nittany Lion teams traveled to Harrisburg Monday where state officials honored them at the Pennsylvania State Capitol for their accomplishments last season.
Centre County’s Republican senator and Penn State alumnus Jake Corman welcomed the coaches and athletes with a lunch and spoke to them on the floor of the State Senate where he congratulated them for their seasons. He particularly recognized football head coach James Franklin and his players who were in attendance, linebacker Jason Cabinda and offensive lineman Andrew Nelson, for their 38-31 comeback win against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.
After meeting with Corman, the group visited the Pennsylvania House, where they received a standing ovation and were commended by Rep. Scott Conklin with a special resolution. The visit ended with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf personally congratulating the Nittany Lions before they returned to campus.
In addition to Franklin, championship-winning head coaches Cael Sanderson, Guy Gadowsky, Char Morett-Curtiss, and John Gondak were also in attendance as well as Athletic Director Sandy Barbour.
Among the student-athletes present on the visit was women’s soccer senior forward Megan Schafer, who was making her second visit to the Capitol. Her first visit came after winning a state championship with Neshaminy High School, which is also the alma mater of James Franklin.
Additionally, Penn State was honored for its excellence in the classroom as well as its on-field accomplishments. The student-athletes’ 89 percent graduation rate, which was announced yesterday, is one percentage point shy of the university’s record.