After Oregon’s lacrosse season ended April 28 in a loss to Colorado, senior Alison Scharkey worked as a producer the following Monday at the athletic department’s second annual O Show. As a co-director of Oregon’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Scharkey and a team of Ducks spent more than a year planning the ESPY’s-esque award show.
After the show, she flew to Arizona for Pac-12 meetings as one of two Oregon representatives on the conference’s Student-Athlete Leadership Team.
She’s busy, but Scharkey is making the most of her final month at Oregon.
“It really is sinking in that it’s almost over,” Scharkey said. “I’m trying to enjoy the rest of my time here.”
Scharkey’s schedule may be busier than most student athletes, but she finds a way to fit it all in, SAAC co-director T.J. Brassil said.
“She’s one of the leaders in all of athletics,” Brassil said. “She’s poised. She’s someone you want to follow. If I follow behind her, it’s like, ‘I got this.'”
She was also a statistical leader for the Ducks this season. She ranked first on the team in ground balls with 30, and finished with 105 in her career, good enough to rank her No. 5 in program history. She started in all 69 games the Ducks played in the last four years.
Scharkey said she’s found many role models in Oregon athletics, including senior women’s administrator Lisa Peterson, assistant athletic director for student athlete development Katie Harbert and former Oregon lacrosse coach Jen Beck.
“All of these women have been such pillars for me,” Scharkey said. “They’ve shown me the way. They’ve been my friend at points and also my mentor. I can’t say enough about them.”
At the O Show, Scharkey won the Jackson Award, which is given annually to an outstanding graduating senior athlete. She traded in her production headset to take the stage for her acceptance speech. Scharkey said O Show awards are made additionally special knowing they’re voted on by fellow athletes.
The Yorba Linda, California native also served on the Pac-12’s inaugural SALT committee, which crafts legislation affecting all athletes in the conference. She enjoyed learning about other Pac-12 schools in those meetings.
“It’s all about student athlete welfare and including them in the conversations,” Scharkey said. “More information helps the committees. I would love to see this continue to grow and get the right people in these positions.”
With her athletic career now over, Scharkey has had time to reflect. She’s leaving Oregon, not only with a degree in public relations, but with a wealth of information about the NCAA and the challenges athletes face nationally.
“I’ve loved nothing more than being here,” Scharkey said. “I’m definitely so bummed that it’s ending, but I feel so prepared for the future.
“What I’ve done here has prepared me for the next step.”
Follow Jonathan Hawthorne on Twitter @Jon_Hawthorne