Academic achievements of Carter and Davis great for Tech
By Jimmy Robertson
March 7, 2002

With a lot of emphasis being placed on graduation rates and academics as a whole by the NCAA, the accomplishments in the classroom by Virginia Tech athletes Carlton Carter and André Davis this past season show that the school is doing everything it can to help student-athletes and that its efforts are being rewarded.

Carlton Carter Carter, a 6-foot-11 senior on the men's basketball team, provided the school with one of its top honors of the entire academic year when he received the BIG EAST's scholar-athlete award for men's basketball this past week. Carter, who will graduate in May with a degree in economics, received a $2,000 scholarship to be applied towards graduate or professional studies.

The honor says a lot about Carter - who averaged 10 points and 8.3 rebounds this season - because he nearly failed to get into Tech after transferring from Colorado midway through his sophomore year. Carter had to attend a junior college near his hometown of Trenton, N.J., and take courses just to be admitted into Tech.

"I decided I liked doing well academically and started working harder at my studies," Carter said. "I think basketball and academics can go hand-in-hand. I take both very seriously."

André Davis Davis, a 6-1 senior on the football team, excelled in the classroom and on the field too. He recently flew to Detroit and accepted the Socrates Award given to the college athlete who best embodies the Socrates Creed "mens sana in corpore sano" or "a strong mind in a strong body."

Davis' top honor, though, came from the NCAA Honors Committee when he was named one of the NCAA's Top VIII Award winners. That award recognizes the student-athlete for his/her athletics, academic achievement, character and leadership. Davis went to the NCAA Honors Dinner held in Indianapolis in January and was chosen by the other seven winners to speak to the audience on their behalf.

Davis also spoke to the audience at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's Awards Dinner in New York on behalf of the 16 National College Scholar-Athletes. He earned an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as handed out by the National Football Foundation to all 16 winners.

Davis, a four-time member of the All-BIG EAST's football academic team who already has graduated with a degree in residential and property management, led the Hokies with 39 catches for 623 yards and seven touchdowns during the regular season. He also caught 158 yards worth of passes and one touchdown in the Gator Bowl and figures to be a high NFL draft choice this April.

These two student-athletes provide a prime example that athletics and academics can co-exist. And in fact, are doing so at Virginia Tech.

"I think you have to have people who are going to lead," Carter said. "I don't preach to anyone, but I let it be known that you can juggle both athletics and academics. You don't have to have one or the other. You can have both."