University Park, Pa. — Another outstanding athletic campaign, highlighted by two NCAA Championships and five Big Ten titles, has lifted Penn State to another Top 15 finish in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup.
The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 11 in the next to last update for 2009-10, edged by Duke by 11 points for 10th place. Penn State will finish No. 11, as none of the teams competing in the College World Series can pass the Lions’ point total of 971.30.
Penn State will earn its 12th Top 15 finish in the 17-year history of the Directors’ Cup, placing in the Top 25 every year, with eight Top 10 finishes.
Stanford will win its 16th consecutive Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, having earned 1,508.50 points. The Cardinal are followed by Florida (1,237.25), Virginia (1,189.25), UCLA (1,034), Texas A&M (1,020.75), Ohio State (1,015.50), Florida State (1,009.50), California (988.50), North Carolina (984.30), Duke (982.75) and Penn State.
Penn State and Ohio State again will be the highest finishers in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup among institutions located in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
In the latest Directors’ Cup compilation, Penn State earned 80 points for the women’s track and field team’s tremendous fourth place finish at the NCAA Championships, and 49.5 points from the men’s track and field team, which was tied for 23rd at the NCAA meet. The Nittany Lions received 45 points from Coach Greg Nye’s men’s golf team, which qualified for the 30-team NCAA Championships for the third time since 2004.
Penn State also earned 70 points this spring from the men’s volleyball team’s NCAA Championship runner-up finish. Coach Mark Pavlik’s Nittany Lions advanced to their third national title match in five years, falling to No. 1 and host Stanford in the championship match.
A 10-time All-American, senior Bridget Franek (Hiram, Ohio) won the 3,000-meter steeplechase to highlight the Penn State women’s track and field team’s superlative NCAA performance. Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan’s squad tied its highest NCAA finish and had 12 All-America performances. Penn State swept the Big Ten women’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field titles this year for the first time in program history.
Penn State has won 19 NCAA Championships since 1993-94, its first full year in the Big Ten Conference, more than double every other Big Ten institution. Iowa and Minnesota are tied for second with nine. Since 2005-06, the Nittany Lions have won 24 Big Ten titles, the conference’s second-highest total.
The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Standings are unveiled following the fall, winter and spring seasons. The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was 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.
For the complete Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, click here