In researching the top 100 players, one quickly learns that in the early years of sport, the science of college eligibility varied considerably through the years. The arrival of Paul Florence to the Hilltop in 1920 is an example.
Florence arrived at Georgetown in late 1920, two years removed from Loyola Academy in Chicago and a few months removed from a brief stint as an defensive end for the NFL's Chicago Cardinals. It's not clear if this was known to Georgetown officials or if his college eligibility was not otherwise affected, but Florence starred on all three major Georgetown teams in his college years, including a memorable run with the basketball teams of the early 1920's.
Florence's debut came in 1920-21, where, despite being the only newcomer on a team which had gone 13-1 the season before, finished second in scoring and led the Hilltoppers to ten straight wins to open the season. Ye Domesday Book wrote: "A big, rangy man, with an uncanny eye for the basket, he quickly fitted in with the veterans, and showed he was one of the best forwards Georgetown has ever had.
His sophomore season showed even greater promise. An 18 point effort against St. Joe's led off the 1921-22 season, a year which saw Florence lead the team in scoring with a 11.3 points average in just 12 games. His defensive efforts that year led Georgetown to a notable upset of Kentucky before a standing room crowd at Ryan Gym.
For his third season, 1922-23, Florence was not only a valuable forward for the cagers, but the catcher on Georgetown's mythical national championship nine and a speedy receiver for the football team. Florence got off to a slow start following football season, but finished second in scoring in 1923, with a career high 20 points in his final game for the Blue and Gray, having accepted an offer to join the New York Giants' minor league squad.
Florence played only one year in the major leagues as a catcher for the Giants in 1926, batting .229, but enjoyed a notable minor league career with the AAA Rochester Red Wings, and was named to its Hall of Fame in 2005. Florence also spent many years as a scout with the Cincinnati Reds before his death in 1986.
For his accomplishments in baseball, football, and basketball, Paul Florence was named to the inaugural class of the Georgetown University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1958.