User ID: Password:

November 10, 2010

Hokies strong in latest NCAA release of GSR

By: Jimmy Robertson

The NCAA released the graduation success rates (GSR) for student-athletes on Oct. 27 and Virginia Tech checked in at 89 percent – its best number since the NCAA started this metric as a way of calculating graduation rates. The number is based on student-athletes who entered college in 2003.

The 89 percent tied for fourth in the ACC behind Duke (97 percent), BC (96) and Wake Forest (93). UVa was at 89 percent as well.

In football, the Hokies had a 79 percent GSR – that program’s best number ever. That’s up eight percent from football players who entered school in 2002. Of the football programs ranked in the top 25, Tech has the second-highest GSR behind Stanford (86 percent). In the ACC, the Hokies’ GSR for football ranked fifth behind Duke (95), BC (90), Miami (81) and Wake (81).

In men’s basketball, the number is 75 percent, up eight percent from those who entered in college in 2002. The Hokies’ GSR for men’s hoops ranked fifth in the ACC behind Wake (100), BC (88), UNC (88) and Duke (83).

The NCAA average stood at 69 percent for football players and 66 percent for basketball players for those entering college in 2003.

Five other programs at Tech achieved perfect 100 percent GSR’s for those entering college in 2003 – golf, women’s soccer, women’s tennis, men’s track and volleyball.

Weaver wins a stage at PGA qualifying school

Drew Weaver’s quest to make it to the PGA Tour got started on a strong note, as the former Virginia Tech golfer won a first-stage event at the PGA Tour’s National Qualifying Tournament – better known as “q-school.”

Playing at Pinewild Country Club just outside of Pinehurst, N.C., on Tuesday through Friday, Weaver shot a four-round total of 12-under-par to beat former PGA Tour player Stephen Gangluff by one stroke. Weaver shot rounds of 66, 71, 68 and 71 on the par-72 layout. His first-round 66 tied for the best round of the stage.

“I am very pleased to start out q-school on such a strong note,” Weaver said. “It is a definite confidence builder, and I look forward to taking my momentum into second stage.”

Also, former Tech golfer Nick MacDonald played in a first-stage event at Dayton Valley Golf Club in Las Vegas and shot 12-under-par for the stage. He finished in a tie for eighth place, five shots back. MacDonald shot rounds of 70, 70, 65 and 71.

Weaver, the 2007 British Amateur winner, and MacDonald will advance to a second-stage event to be held Nov. 16-20 at a course to be determined. The top 23 finishers and ties advanced to a second-stage event.

Second-stage survivors advance to a third and final stage held at Orange County National in Winter Garden, Fla., on Dec. 1-6. The final stage is unique in that it is six rounds as opposed to four.

The top 25 finishers of the final stage earn their PGA cards, while the next 50 (plus ties) earn Nationwide Tour cards. The rest earn conditionally exempt status on the Nationwide Tour.

Dale’s grandson doing well

Former Tech football standout Carroll Dale recently reported that his 7-year-old grandson, Vincent Dale Cox, is doing well after undergoing a bone marrow transplant at the University of Minnesota’s Medical Center on March 29.

For those who may have forgotten, Cox was battling an extremely rare blood disorder known as Fanconi anemia, a disorder that causes the bone marrow in the body to stop making blood cells needed for the body to function normally. The only treatment is a bone marrow transplant, and fortunately, Cox’s mother, Valarie, served as a match. They left Bristol, Va., where they live, and went to Minnesota for the procedure, staying there for four months while doctors monitored the young man.

“Everything’s going well,” Dale said. “He came home in August and then went back up there at the end of September to get the port taken out of his chest. Since then, all his counts have been good. He went to the children’s hospital in Johnson City [Tenn.] the other day and they checked his blood work. Everything is fine. He doesn’t have to go back for another month. It’s just a miracle everything is going so well.”

Dale, who won two Super Bowls with the Green Bay Packers, spearheaded several fundraising efforts to help the family with the medical costs.

“I can’t thank people enough, not just for the money, but for their prayers, too,” Dale said. “People have been so kind. It’s been touching.”