The BIG EAST/Aéropostale Scholar-Athlete Awards were established to recognize student-athletes who have achieved success in the classroom and on the field. The Female and Male Scholar-Athlete Awards will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 14 and Wednesday, Feb. 15, respectively. The Men's and Women's Basketball Scholar-Athletes of the Year will be announced prior to the Big East Men's & Women's Basketball Championships on March 3 and 7.
A native of Gilbert, W. Va., Justice excels both on and off the field at West Virginia. A three-year starter at offensive tackle, he has played in four straight bowl games for the Mountaineers, including a 38-35 victory over Georgia in the 2006 Nokia Sugar Bowl. This past season, Justice - a WVU team captain - was selected as an All-America Second Team performer by The Sporting News and was named to the All-Big East First Team. In addition, he received ESPN conference honors and All-ECAC accolades.
"These individuals are outstanding student-athletes, who have accomplished many great feats on the field and in the classroom," Commissioner Michael Tranghese said. "The Big East is extremely excited to be able to honor Garin Justice and the entire academic team."
Justice has an impressive resume in the classroom and in the community as well. An education major with a 3.58 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale, he has already completed his degree requirements and is in the process of student teaching. Justice was a member of the Dean's List and the Athletic Director's Honor Roll from 2001-05. In 2005, he was a member of the ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-District Team. Justice is also extremely involved in the community at West Virginia. He volunteers to work with the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Special Olympics and the Children's Hospital. In addition, he is an officeholder in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
WVU had three of the four players who made the All-Academic team three times in their careers. In addition to Justice, Dan Mozes and Jay Henry earned membership for the thrid time, along with Brian Leonard of Rutgers.
Justice, Mozes and Mike Lorello backed up their first team all-Big East football honors by also being named to the All-Academic team. Phil Brady, a second team, all-conference pick, also earned a spot on the all-academic squad.
The award solidify West Virginia's spot atop bot the athletic and academic sides of the Big East football conference. The Mountaineers have the most all-time selections with 131 in 15 seasons of Big East play.
Mountaineers named to the team include:
John Bradshaw, Fr., OG Business, Stafford, Va.
Phil Brady, Sr., P, Chemistry, Fairfax, Va.
Jake Figner, Fr., OG, Biochemistry, Fogelsville, Pa.
Bobby Hathaway, So., LB, Economics, Carmichaels, Pa.
Jay Henry*, Jr., LB, Finance, Jenks, Okla.
Dorrell Jalloh, Fr., WR, Journalism, Greensboro, N.C.
Garin Justice*, Sr., OT, Education, Gilbert, W.Va.
Pat Liebig, So., DT, Business, Naples, Fla.
Tim Lindsey, Jr., LS, Exercise Physiology, Bridgeport, W.Va.
Mike Lorello, Sr., S, Finance, Powell, Ohio
Marc Magro, So., LB, Exercise Physiology, Morgantown, W.Va.
Ridwan Malik, So., S, ACE, Columbia, S.C.
Pat McAfee, Fr., K, General Studies, Plum, Pa.
Travis McClintic, Jr., WR, Exercise Physiology, Lewisburg, W.Va.
Dan Mozes*, Jr., C, Communications, Washington, Pa.
Jeff Noechel*, Sr., LB, History Education, Fairmont, W.Va.
George Shehl, Sr., H, Marketing, Clarksburg, W.Va.
Doug Slavonic, Fr., DT, Business, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Ryan Stanchek, Fr., OG, ACE, Cincinnati, Ohio
Reed Williams, Fr., LB, Accounting, Moorefield, W.Va.
The All-Academic Team recognizes letterwinners who have posted a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. Student-athletes who have completed a minimum of two semesters of academic work and earned a letter are eligible. It is the 14th consecutive season the Big East has honored its student-athletes with an academic team.
* Repeat selection from 2004