Yeisley, Griffith awarded Big Ten Medals of Honor

University Park, Pa. — Standout Nittany Lion student-athletes Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) and Jason Yeisley (Allentown, Pa.) have been named Penn State's 2010 recipients of the Big Ten Medal of Honor. Griffith, a senior, starred as a four-year starter on the softball team while Yeisley, a December 2009 graduate, was a three-time All-Big Ten men's soccer player.

The Big Ten Medal of Honor was established in 1914 when the conference endowed the award, which was to be presented annually to a student in the graduating class of each university that demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics. In 1982, the Medal of Honor was expanded to include a senior female athlete from each institution.

Ashley Griffith receives the Penn State Medal of Honor Award for best female student-athlete, the first Penn State softball student-athlete to receive the award.

Griffith excelled on the field and in the classroom during her four years for the Blue and White. This season alone, Griffith was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Third Team in May, the first Nittany Lion softball player to receive the recognition since 2001.

Griffith was also an Academic All-District II First Team honoree thanks to her 3.95 cumulative grade point average. Next year Griffith will take part in the highly touted ACE Nursing Program at Drexel University for her Master's degree.

The consummate team player, Griffith finished the 2010 campaign leading the nation in sacrifice bunts (22), upping her total to 55 in her four years in Happy Valley, second best for a career. She also graduated as the Nittany Lions' fourth-best career run scorer and was 10th in steals.

Griffith was the team's co-captain during the 2010 campaign, which saw the Nittany Lions make a 10-win improvement from their 2009 season, narrowly missing the program's eighth 30-win season in the past 11 years.

Griffith was fourth in team batting average (.279), while leading the team in runs (34) and walks (27). Her 12 stolen bases were a team high and she was honored as the team's Blue-White Award winner at the year-end banquet for loyalty and dedication to Penn State softball. Griffith is also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. 

Jason Yeisley, who was recently selected as Penn State Male Student-Athlete of the Year, departed Happy Valley following a career marked both by achievement and adversity. The three-time team captain overcame two serious knee injuries over the course of his career, returning to the line-up for a stellar senior season that saw him earn Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Big Ten, and NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region Second Team honors. His 21 points ranked him second on a Penn State team that he led to an undefeated regular season home record, a second place finish in the Big Ten, the Big Ten Tournament title game, and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2009.

In recognition of excellence achieved on and off the field of play, Yeisley was selected as the 2009 winner of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for men's soccer, an honor presented annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I men's soccer. He then went on to be named the 2010 male recipient of the Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award and Penn State's Big Ten Sportsmanship award winner.

Also a standout in the classroom, Yeisley graduated with a 3.61 grade point average, earning a degree in management from the Smeal College of Business. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten recipient, 2007 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District First Team selection, and 2009 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team honoree, he was named one of just two Division I men's soccer recipients of a 2009-10 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010