Bucknell's Buursma Honored as the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year
July 10, 2008
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell's Jason Buursma (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside School) has earned the Patriot League's highest honor as he was named the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the league office announced on Thursday. The award comes on the heels of the 2008 graduate capturing the PL Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Player of the Year accolades earlier this spring.
Buursma is the fourth Bucknell student-athlete to win the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor and first since Ron Hess (indoor and outdoor track and field) was presented with the award in 2000. The two other previous Bison winners were Bob Kelly (indoor track and field) in 1992 and David Berardinelli (football), who shared the honor with Colgate's Ray Appenheimer in 1993.
The winner of each sport's Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is put in the running towards the Patriot League Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors, with the league's sports information directors selecting one male and one female for the award. To be eligible for the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, a student-athlete must be a sophomore or above, have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average and be a starter or key player in his/her sport.
In his final season with the Bison in 2008, Buursma enjoyed a career year both at the plate and on the mound, collecting an eye-popping list of honors along the way. This spring, Buursma hit a team-best .367 with 58 hits, 37 runs scored, seven doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 37 RBI and a slugging percentage of .671. On the mound, he broke the program wins record with a 9-3 mark and posted a 2.58 earned-run average in 83.2 innings. He totaled just 10 walks and 78 strikeouts, while opposing hitters batted only .226 against him, ending his collegiate career with a 17.1 consecutive shutout innings streak intact. After helping carry the Bison to the 2008 Patriot League title by earning the win in relief in all four of Bucknell's triumphs in the league tournament, Buursma was named the Patriot League Tournament MVP.
In addition to his Patriot League honors, Buursma earned All-America plaudits from three different organizations this spring, was named the NCBWA District I Player of the Year, was tabbed an ECAC All-Star and was one of 16 national finalists for the Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Award.
The first five-time All-Patriot League selection in Bucknell history, Buursma set a new Patriot League record for career ERA, finishing with a 2.13 in 181.2 innings of work. This season, Buursma broke the school record for home runs against Lehigh on Apr. 27 when he hit his 22nd of his career and appears on a total of 17 of Bucknell's career top-10 lists. He has etched his name into the program's single season top-10 lists 14 times, as well and ranks in the top-10 for five single season categories and three career categories in the PL record book.
Away from the diamond, Buursma performed equally as well in the classroom. He was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America first team after earning Academic All-District honors for a second consecutive season and was one of 10 national finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. He graduated with a 3.57 grade-point average as an economics major with a philosophy minor, was named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll twice and was a Dean's List student. During the fall of his junior year, Buursma spent the semester studying abroad at Oxford.
The only player in Bison history to be taken in the Major League Baseball draft twice, Buursma was the male 2008 Christy Mathewson Award Winner, which is presented to the top athlete in Bucknell's senior class, and is currently playing with the single-A Batavia Muckdogs in the St. Louis Cardinals farm system.
The Bison finished 2008 with the second-highest wins total in school history at 30-24-2 and won their fourth Patriot League championship, earning a Patriot League record fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament. At the NCAA Tallahassee Regional, Bucknell captured its first ever tournament victory, upsetting Florida State, 7-0, in the opening round of regional play.
The Following is a list of Jason Buursma's Bucknell career honors and accomplishments: