Record Point Total Keeps Penn State Firmly in Top Five of Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Standings
June 23, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
With five teams competing in NCAA spring championships, Penn State firmly remains in the top five in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, earning a school record point total for the second consecutive year.
Anchored by three NCAA Championships and a school record-tying eight Big Ten titles, Penn State has surpassed last year’s total of 1,100.00 Directors’ Cup points.
The Nittany Lions are No. 4 in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings and in position to earn their first top five finish since placing No. 5 in the 2002-03 standings. Penn State has four previous top five finishes and is seeking its 10th top 10 finish in the Directors’ Cup after placing No. 6 last year.
Penn State has 1,113.00 Directors’ Cup points to break its record of 1,100.00 set in 2012-13. For the second consecutive year, 21 of 31 Penn State teams have participated in their respective NCAA Championship this year. The Nittany Lions were No. 2 in the 2013-14 final winter Directors’ Cup standings and No. 6 after the fall standings.
Stanford has clinched the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup with 1,481.00 points. Florida (1,191.50), Notre Dame (1128.25), Penn State (1,113.00) and UCLA (1078.5) round out the top five, followed by USC (1063.75), Duke (1051.00), Virginia (1028.50), Texas (1010.00) and Michigan (983.25).
Just one NCAA Championship, the College World Series, remains to be completed, with Virginia facing Vanderbilt this week. Should the Cavaliers win the title they would earn 100 Directors’ Cup points. The final 2013-14 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings will be announced around July 1.
During the spring, five Penn State teams competed in their respective NCAA championships: women’s lacrosse, men’s tennis, men’s volleyball and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field. In addition, the women’s golf team was represented by two players at the NCAA East Regional.
Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan’s women’s track and field squad swept the Big Ten indoor and outdoor titles this year and placed 12th at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships to earn 63.75 Directors’ Cup points. The Nittany Lions posted the highest finish among all Big Ten squads and finished No. 6 in the final U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USFTCCCA) 2013-14 Division I Program of the Year standings.
The Penn State men’s track and field team tallied 25 Directors’ Cup points with its NCAA performances.
Three Penn State squads have led the way in the 2013-14 campaign, as women’s volleyball, wrestling and fencing each captured NCAA Championships, combining to score 300 Directors’ Cup points.
Penn State’s three NCAA Championships this year are its most since winning three in 1999-2000. Penn State student-athletes, who have an 88 percent graduation rate, have won a school record-tying and conference-best eight Big Ten titles in 2013-14 and 16 over the past two years, easily topping second place Michigan (9) in combined titles the last two years among all Big Ten institutions.
The Nittany Lions have a combined 20 conference championships during the past two years, the most in a two-year stretch in school history.
The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings were developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports -- 10 women's and 10 men's.
Penn State will remain one of only nine programs nationwide to finish in the Top 25 in all 21 years of the comprehensive Directors’ Cup competition.