Caracciolo's strategy succeeded. A communication-arts major, he finished with a 3.15 GPA. "I always thought the only purpose of going to class was to get an A," he says. "I understand now that it's good to get an A, but it's also good to actually get something out of the class."
He has a pragmatic, not to say cynical, view of things. "College lets you develop a network of contacts that will carry you through life," he says. "It's not how much talent you have, but who you know that puts you in places." It worked for Caracciolo. Last year Edward Hill, Howard's sports information director, got him a summer internship as a clerk in
The Washington Post's advertising services department. The Post took him on full-time in the same job on May 26.
"Now I'm in a position to do all kinds of things," he says. "A degree gives me a lot more to bargain with. With communications, I could go to the corner store and create a p.r. job for myself."
Caracciolo turned down a chance to play basketball in West Berlin for $40,000 a year. "I'd love to see Europe," he says, "but not from a sweaty standpoint, chasing balls and buses. And anyway, when I came back to the real world, I'd still have to find a job."
Caracciolo's next move is to get into Howard's School of Law. "When I started college, my only ambition was to make a million dollars," he says. "Now I'd be just as happy with a typical American dream house, a wife, kids and a white picket fence. Basketball was a means to an end. It got me to college and made my days there interesting and memorable. I came out with no broken bones, chronic back pains or permanent ailments. Instead of college and basketball exploiting me, I exploited them. I think I got the better of the deal."