Two Notre Dame Athletes To Receive NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships
Basketball’s Ruth Riley and softball’s Jen Sharron selected to receive $5,000 scholarships

July 23, 2001

Two University of Notre Dame athletes from winter and spring sports have been selected to receive postgraduate scholarships as part of the NCAA’s postgraduate scholarship program.

Women’s basketball star Ruth Riley (Macy, Ind.) and standout softball pitcher Jen Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) were among 116 student-athletes (58 women and 58 men) from winter and spring sports selected to receive $5,000 scholarships as part of the NCAA’s postgraduate scholarship program. The 116 student-athletes are joined by 58 athletes from fall sports for a total of 174 postgraduate scholarships awarded by the NCAA.

For Riley, the postgraduate scholarship adds to her long list of accolades achieved on the court and in the classroom during the 2000-01 school year.

A two-time Associated Press first team All-American, she was selected as the 2001 BIG EAST Player of the Year and the Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year after helping lead the Notre Dame women’s basketball team to the school’s first-ever national title last spring. Off the court, Riley was selected as the Verizon Women’s Basketball Academic All-American of the Year after being named first team Academic All-American for two consecutive years.

A seven-time Dean’s List selection at Notre Dame, Riley graduated in May with a 3.64 grade-point average in psychology and sociology. She was also selected as the BIG EAST women’s basketball scholar-athlete of the year and the BIG EAST women’s scholar-athlete of the year for all sports.

Sharron was also a first team All-American on the playing field and in the classroom as she helped lead the Irish softball team to a 54-7 overall record, the BIG EAST regular season title with a 20-0 league mark, and a trip to the NCAA regionals where Notre Dame was seeded first for the first time in school history.

The ace of the Irish pitching staff, Sharron was selected first team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and as a Verizon first team Academic All-American. The first pitcher in BIG EAST history to be selected as the league’s pitcher of the year four consecutive seasons, Sharron was 27-4 this past season with a 1.13 earned run average and 224 strike outs. She graduated in May with a 3.27 grade point average majoring in film, television and theatre.

Since the NCAA began the postgraduate scholarship program in 1964, 36 Irish student-athletes have been selected with Riley and Sharron being the first in their respective sports. Notre Dame has had at least one student-athlete receive a postgraduate scholarship in each of the last five years dating back to 1997.

To qualify for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must have an overall grade-point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) or its equivalent and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in the sport which the student-athlete was nominated. The student-athlete must have behaved, both on and off the field, in a manner that has brought credit to the student-athlete, the institution and intercollegiate athletics. The student-athlete also must intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a full-time or part-time graduate student.

Student-athletes are nominated by the school’s faculty athletics representatives. Candidates are screened by eight regional selection committees and the winners are selected by the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee.


Year Name Sport

1966 Ed Dean Track

1967 Fred Schnurr Football

1967 Jack Haynes Fencing

1968 Jim Smithberger Football

1968 Mike Daher Fencing

1969 Bob Arnzen Basketball

1969 George Kunz Football

1969 Bill Hurd Track

1970 Mike Oriard Football

1971 Larry DiNardo Football

1972 Tom Gatewood Football

1973 Greg Marx Football

1974 Dave Casper Football

1974 Gary Novak Basketball

1975 Pete Demmerle Football

1975 Reggie Barnett Football

1975 Paul Angelo Fencing

1979 Joe Restic Football

1980 Tom Gibbons Football

1980 Greg Meredith Hockey

1981 John Krimm Football

1982 Jeannine Blatt Women’s Swimming

1983 John Paxson Basketball

1983 Steve Dziabis Track

1985 Greg Dingens Football

1986 John Krug Wrestling

1988 Reggie Ho Football

1992 Heidi Piper Women’s Fencing

1993 Tim Ruddy Football

1997 Jeremy Siek Fencing

1997 Jennifer Renola Women’s Soccer

1998 Jaimie Lee Volleyball

1999 Jennifer Hall Women’s Tennis

2000 Jennifer Streiffer Women’s Soccer

2001 Ruth Riley Women’s Basketball

2001 Jen Sharron Softball