Trio of Nittany Lions selected to NFF's Hampshire Honor Society

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A trio of former Penn State football student-athletes have been selected to the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society for the 2012 season.

Seniors Mike Farrell (Pittsburgh), Pete Massaro (Newtown Square) and Matt Stankiewitch (Orwigsburg) were selected for the honor. Penn State's three honorees were tied for second-highest among Big Ten Conference institutions.

In order to be considered for membership in the Hampshire Honor Society, a player must be a starter or significant reserve who maintains a cumulative 3.20 grade point average or higher in their last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, or an NAIA college or university.

A starter at tackle in every game in 2012 for Coach Bill O'Brien's squad, Farrell earned his degree in secondary education, graduating with a 3.41 grade-point average. A defensive end, Massaro was a 2010 and 2012 first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American. He graduated with a 3.84 GPA, earning degrees in finance (2011) and economics (2012). The Nittany Lions' starting center in all 25 games the past two seasons, Stankiewitch earned his degree in management, graduating with a 3.39 GPA.

In its seventh year, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program, greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year and further strengthening its leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs.

The NFF distributes more than $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 16 individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. Additionally, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best. The winner of the Campbell receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a 25-pound bronze trophy. Through, its chapter network, the NFF awards an additional $1 million to local high school student-athletes, bringing the NFF's annual scholarship total to more than $1.3 million.

The Hampshire Honor Society accolade is the latest recognition in a long line of academic achievement for members of the Penn State football program, who consistently are at or near the top nationally in academic success:

- Penn State football broke its program record for the second consecutive year with an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 91 percent, tied with Rutgers for the No. 7 graduation rate among all 120 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams, according to the NCAA in October, 2012. Penn State's GSR was significantly higher than the 68 percent FBS average and was second to Northwestern (97) among Big Ten Conference institutions;

- Penn State football student-athletes that enrolled in the University in the fall of 2005 earned a program record Federal graduation rate of 93 percent. Penn State's 93 percent graduation rate was 33 points higher than the 60 percent FBS average and was second to Northwestern (95) among Big Ten Conference institutions, according to the NCAA data;

- The Nittany Lions' 17 Academic All-Americans® over the past seven years (15 first team selections) leads the nation. Penn State has had a least one first team ESPN Academic All-American® in nine of the past 11 seasons (17 overall selections);

- The Nittany Lions' all-time total of 51 Academic All-America® football honorees ranks third among all FBS institutions.

- A program record 28 Penn State football student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors last fall for earning at least a 3.0 grade point average and being a letterwinner. bringing the Nittany Lions' total to 308 honorees since 1993.  

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Last Updated May 24, 2013