Payne, Richardson Named South Carolina's Nominees For McWhorter Graduate Scholarship
March 31, 2009
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Softball player Ashton Payne and track and field athlete Jason Richardson have been nominated by the University of South Carolina for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship.
The Southeastern Conference has presented the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship since 1986 to the league's top male and female scholar-athletes.
The Southeastern Conference will name the 2009 recipients of the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship on April 6 in conjunction with National Student-Athlete Day.
Payne, a senior from Richmond, Va., has a 3.95 grade point average, majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry. She is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll (spring 2009 honor roll released later this spring). She is a five-time member of the President's Honor Roll and a two-time Dean's List student at Carolina. She is also a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key Honor Societies.
In 2008, Payne was selected second-team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America and has earned all-region status twice. She was also second-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Southeast Region and was named to the SEC Community Service Team for Softball in 2008. She also was named to the All-Tournament Team and Best Offensive Player at the 23U Nationals.
During the 2008 season, she led the Gamecocks in six statistical categories while maintaining a nearly perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average.
Payne has been active in community service, volunteering with Homeless for the Homeless two years, Harvest Hope Food Drive for two years, Habitat for Humanity, Serve the City and Comebat the Measles.
Richardson, a senior from Cedar Hill, Texas, has a 3.687 grade point average, majoring in Sport and Entertainment Management. He is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll (spring 2009 honor roll released later this spring). He is a multiple time member of the USC Dean's List and President's List and a McKissick Scholar.
Last year, he earned CoSIDA / ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors and was named the Indoor and Outdoor USTFCCCA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He has also earned All-Academic Team honors in men's track and field by the USTFCCCA. Athletically, he has stood out as one of the nation's top hurdlers. He was the 2008 NCAA outdoor champion in the 110 hurdles and was the SEC Champion in the 100 hurdles as well. He has also been an individual champion in the Penn Relays. He has been a three-time NCAA All-American in the 60 hurdles and the 110 hurdles.
He has volunteered in the community as a participant in Camp Kemo, assisting young children with cancer, served as a guest speaker at Ebenezer Baptist Church and participated in USC Track and Field's Christmas Adopt-A-Family. He has also been a mentor at the Bible Way Church of Atlas Road and the A.C. Jackson Wellness Center.
National Student-Athlete Day was created in 1987 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and presented by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
National Student-Athlete Day is held each April 6 to celebrate outstanding student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics while having made significant contributions to the community. It is also a time to recognize those parents, teachers, coaches and school systems which make it possible for young people to find the balance between academics and athletics.
Each year, the SEC, in conjunction with AT&T, an SEC Corporate Champion sponsor, and the Allstate Sugar Bowl, provides the league's male and female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients with a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship. The 22 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $5,000 post-graduate scholarship. The award recipients are chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from the 12 SEC institutions and are honored at the SEC Spring Meetings in Sandestin, Fla. on May 28.
Last year's recipients were Alabama golfer Joseph Sykora and Auburn swimmer Kristen Hastrup.