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ASU finishes fourth in U.S. Sports Academy Director's Cup

June 26, 2008

On the strength of three national championships and eight total Top 10 national finishes this year, the Arizona State University athletics department has finished fourth in the 2007-08 U.S. Sports Academy Director's Cup standings that were released by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) June 26. The Cup standings reflect each university's success in collegiate athletics throughout the academic year and are used to determine the top overall collegiate athletics programs in the nation each year.

"The 2007-08 year has been a most exciting season for us at Arizona State University," Lisa Love, Vice President for University Athletics, said. "I could not be prouder of the student-athletes and coaches who competed at such a high level for our university. Their accomplishments have brought great prestige to our university and our community. We compete in such a prolific conference, the Pacific-10 Conference, in which we won five conference titles. We also won three national championships. I am so proud of the great work going on within our athletic family."

With 1,146.00 points, the Sun Devils claimed their first placement among the Top 5 in the Cup standings for the first time under the current NACDA formula, which was started in time for the 1993-94 academic year, and surpasses the previous top finish of ninth place in 2000-01. ASU was the third-highest finisher this year among Pac-10 schools with Stanford (1,461.00) winning the Cup and UCLA (1,182.00) placing second. Michigan was third (1,154.00)

The Sun Devils earned 100 points each from the softball, men's indoor track & field and women's indoor track & field squads this year after each won national titles. The women's outdoor track & field team (second), the women's cross country team (fourth) and the women's golf team (fifth) each earned Top 5 finishes to help the Sun Devils climb the charts. Overall, 18 of the department's 22 teams scored points toward the Cup with half of the teams securing more than 60 points each

Following the fall, the Sun Devils stood 28th overall with 165 points as women's cross country (80), football (63) and men's cross country (22) each scored. The winter saw seven of the school's eight eligible teams score points to bring the overall total to 612 points and push the department to ninth overall. In the winter, the indoor track teams picked-up 200 total points while swimming combined for 113 (57 for women and 56 for men). Also adding to the total included women's basketball (50), wrestling (45.5) and gymnastics (38.5).

In the spring, eight of the nine eligible teams scored 25 or more points, including the national champion softball squad (100) and fellow Top 10 finishers women's track & field (90 points, second), women's golf (75, fifth), men's track & field (73.5, sixth) and baseball (64, ninth). Adding to the totals were men's golf (56.5), women's tennis (50) and men's tennis (25).

The Cup was started in the early 1970's by the Knoxville Journal with the newspaper awarding points based upon finishes in the national meets and tallying three standings: men, women and combined. Under that format, ASU climbed its way into the Top 5 on several occasions as a combined program, finishing second in 1981 after placing third in 1976, 1977 and 1978. When USA Today took over compiling the numbers in the late 1980's, the Sun Devils finished in the Top 10 on several occasions as a combined program with their highest finish coming in 1990 when they finished fourth after the men were fourth and women fifth in their separate divisions.