PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University is reviewing an athletics award named for ousted Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, who graduated from the Ivy League school in 1950, officials said Friday.

University spokeswoman Marisa Quinn said the school is “reviewing the matter to consider how best to address it.” She declined to elaborate. The Joe Paterno ’50 Award is presented annually to an “outstanding” first-year varsity male athlete.

Art Joukowsky, chairman of the Brown University Sports Foundation, which raises money to support athletics, told The Associated Press that he doesn’t want the school to abandon Paterno.

“Loyalty means a great deal,” said Joukowsky, who is also Brown’s chancellor emeritus. “You don’t just cut it off because something goes wrong.”

He said Paterno is not a “guilty party,” but acknowledged “he should have followed up.”

Penn State trustees fired Paterno on Wednesday amid the firestorm involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who is accused of molesting eight boys. Sandusky’s lawyer says his client is innocent.

Questions remain about why Paterno and other top school officials didn’t go to police after being informed that a graduate student saw Sandusky assaulting a boy in a school shower in 2002. Paterno has said he should have done more.

Brown standouts in ice hockey, wrestling, track, water polo, basketball, football, tennis, soccer and baseball have received the award since it was introduced in 1991. Among the recipients are former NFL players Sean Morey and Chass Gessner, according to a Brown web page about the award.

Paterno played football at Brown. He still shares the school record for career interceptions with 14.

Joukowsky said Paterno never returned to campus to present the honor, which is awarded in the spring. Recipients said it’s a plaque handed out at a student athlete banquet.

Matt Kutler, a 2001 honoree, said it “wouldn’t be a bad idea” to remove Paterno’s name. He said accepting an award named for Paterno “could be awkward.”

“I would have no problem if they found another person to name the award after,” said Kutler, an Omaha, Neb., resident who played baseball.

Trinity Gray, a former track standout who received the award in 1997, said he’s proud of the honor, which he displays on his dresser. He predicted Brown would only abandon the award if confronted with enough complaints.

“They are not there to take a lot of risks,” said Gray.

“I think (Paterno’s) worthy of an award. Based on the situation, he may have to understandably give up that award and step into the background.”

Dan Rosen, 24, a former ice hockey player, said he doesn’t feel “any strong attachment” to the award’s namesake.

“His name just happened to be on the award,” said Rosen, a New York City resident, who was honored in 2007. He added he doubts Paterno knows who the recipients are.

David Gustovich, a former wrestler who received the award in 1992, said it’s too early to make a judgment call.

“Paterno has done amazing things for Penn State and for Brown,” said Gustovich, a resident of Barrington, R.I. “There’s a lot of information out there right now. We all have to sit back and let all the information come out before we can truly judge the situation.

Ibrahim Diane, who was honored for soccer in 2003, called the situation sad. Still, he said he hopes the award remains unchanged, even if its namesake didn’t make an indelible impression.

“I completely forgot it was the Joe Paterno award,” he said. “Thank you for reminding me.”