COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State wide receiver Brian Robiskie finished as one of five male finalists for the 2009 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year award, announced by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine. The first Ohio State student-athlete to become a finalist since the national awards program began 16 years ago, Robiskie was also a national finalist last year.


Robiskie led the Buckeyes two seasons in receiving, with 42 catches for 535 yards and eight touchdowns in 2008. Twice a first team Academic All-American and a 2008 National Football Foundation postgraduate scholar, the Cleveland product graduated from Ohio State in March with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Winner of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Robiskie was a second-round draft pick of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.


“I appreciate all the honors and recognition I have received as a part of Ohio State, but this one has been special to me, because it represents Arthur Ashe and the values he embodied,” Robiskie said. “I am so proud to share this honor with Ohio State, where I had a great career in athletics and I received a world-class degree in business.”


Diverse: Issues In Higher Educationestablished the Sports Scholars Awards in 1992 to honor the legendary Arthur Ashe Jr. and his commitment to social justice, education and sports.  Each year, the nation’s colleges and universities nominate their outstanding minority student-athletes and the winning top male and female student-athletes are profiled in a special issue. 


“Brian has always represented the football program and Ohio State at the top level in the classroom, on the field and in outreach. This is just another acknowledgement of an outstanding young man,” Coach Jim Tressel said. “I know how much this honor, recognizing Arthur Ashe, meant to him last year, and it will be significant to him that he is a two-time finalist.”


The male winner from more than 600 nominees nationwide was Northwestern baseball junior Kenneth Avila. Other finalists were Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, Georgia triple jumper Jamaal Parker and Kentucky soccer player Masumi Turnbull. Oklahoma State soccer standout Yolanda Odenyo was the female winner.