Good evening, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) fans. Hope you are enjoying the NCAA men’s basketball – and the NCAA men’s ice hockey tournaments. This is the best time of year.
Many of you might not have heard of the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. It is an award that honors institutions maintaining broad-based athletics programs success in many sports (including male and female sports). The Directors’ Cup, founded by the National Association of College Directors of Athletics and USA Today, began in 1993-1994 for NCAA Division I athletics. In 1995-96, it was expanded to include Division II, III and the NAIA. Each institution is awarded points in a pre-determined number of sports for men and women. The overall champion is the institution that records the highest number of points in their division’s Directors’ Cup standings. For NCAA Division I, there are 20 sports included (ten men’s and ten women’s).
The big story here is the Big 10 in the First Winter Update of the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings. The Big 10 leads all Division I conferences with four institutions in the top-10 – Wisconsin (2nd), Michigan (3rd), Penn State (4th) and Ohio State (8th).
The usual suspects from the ACC are in the top to, including, North Carolina at #7 and Virginia at #10. However, what is interesting here in the ACC is where Virginia Tech is at; the Hokies are at #18 in the latest standings. This is pretty terrific. While there’s a long way to go, this might be Virginia Tech’s best finish in the Director’s Cup (as the Hokies women’s lacrosse team has a very good chance to be in the NCAA tournament this year). That’s another feather in the cap of Athletic Director, Whit Babcock, who has provided great leadership at Virginia Tech. North Carolina State is in the top 15 of the standings; Wolfpack are ranked #13. Louisville (#27), Syracuse (#33), Florida State (#34), and Notre Dame (#39) are in the top 40.
While it doesn’t appear that any ACC team will catch Stanford, the ACC has done very well – and member institutions should be proud of the conference’s performance in the Cup.