BRISTOL, Tenn. – King University baseball player Ryan Whitt concluded his career this spring, but earlier this summer he earned and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. He was one of 29 male athletes during the spring to earn the award and one of 87 for the 2015-16 academic year.
Earlier this year, Whitt was named CoSIDA Academic All-District honors for the first time, carrying a 3.45 GPA while majoring in Sports Management. The Brentwood native led Conference Carolinas with a batting average of .430 and an on base percentage of .507 while ranking second with a .686 slugging percentage. In the middle of the season he had a 16-game hitting streak and closed his career on a 10-game hitting streak.
"Ryan is a phenomenal athlete, but he also has an impressive record of scholarship and service," Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) Bill Linderman said. "The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship is a very competitive award, and we are proud that Ryan is being recognized for his accomplishments as both an athlete and a scholar."
Whitt led the Tornado and ranked ninth in the league with nine home runs on the season and is 11th on the conference with three triples. In the NCAA Division II rankings, Whitt ranked 26th in batting average and his 74 hits were 34th in the country and fifth in Conference Carolinas. He also led the Tornado in runs scored and runs batted in, scoring 46 runs, a mark that was sixth in the league and driving in 45 runs to rank seventh in the conference. His best series of the season may have come at the University of Mount Olive where he ripped four home runs, including three in the final game of the season where he went 4-for-4 and drove in four.
"Receiving this postgraduate scholarship is a blessing," Whitt said. "My undergraduate career started at Chattanooga State and finished here at King. I could not have had the success I was fortunately able to have without the support of my teammates, coaches, staff and the community here in Bristol."
The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.
The one-time non-renewable scholarships of $7,500 are awarded three times a year corresponding to each sport season (fall, winter and spring). Each sports season there are 29 scholarships available for men and 29 scholarships available for women for use in an accredited graduate program.
The process is very stringent as nominations are submitted by each school's Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR). At King Bill Linderman serves as the FAR, nominating Whitt for the prestigious award. Along with sending in Whitt's transcript, Linderman also had to complete the five-section application for the award. The application included an initial recommendation followed by a personal statement from Whitt and recommendations from his head coach, athletics administrator and a professor.
For more information of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship program, click here.