The SUNY Cortland men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletic program finished in 10th place in the 2011-12 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup competition among the approximately 440 eligible NCAA Division III programs competing nationally for the prestigious honor. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), Learfield Sports and USA Today present the award annually to recognize overall excellence among collegiate athletic programs.
Cortland is one of only five schools nationwide, and the only New York institution, to place in the top 20 each of the 17 years the standings have been compiled on the Division III level. The other schools that hold that distinction are Williams College (Mass.), Amherst College (Mass.), Middlebury College (Vt.) and The College of New Jersey. The Red Dragons have placed in the top 10 nationally nine times.
The Red Dragons were the top finisher this season among New York Div. III schools with 673.50 points. Middlebury won its first Cup with 1,040.75 points, followed by Washington University (Mo.) with 980.25 and Williams with 964.50 points. Williams had its streak of 14 consecutive Directors' Cup victories end.
Cortland had 15 teams participate in NCAA postseason competition in 2011-12 with nine top-20 finishes. The men’s lacrosse team finished second nationally, the women’s lacrosse team tied for third place and the baseball team placed fourth. The women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams each tied for fifth and the wrestling team finished 10th. Field hockey and softball each tied for 17th place and the men’s cross country squad finished 20th. The women’s gymnastics team finished fourth nationally at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) Division III Championships. That result, however, is not counted in the Directors’ Cup standings.
The standings are compiled based on schools’ national finishes in different sports. Teams earn points by qualifying for the NCAA postseason and additional points for advancing in the playoffs. The national champion in each sport receives 100 points.
There are four Directors’ Cup Awards, one to honor overall champions in each of the NCAA’s Divisions (I, II and III) and the NAIA. It is the first-ever cross-sectional all-sports national recognition award for both men and women. NACDA, which is now in its 47th year, is the professional and educational association for more than 6,100 college athletics directors, associates, assistants and conference commissioners at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.