Irish Athletic Program Ranks Fourth In Nation
Sporting News survey of 115 Division 1 programs finds Irish excel in overall performance.

Feb. 22, 2001

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame athletic program ranks fourth in the nation among 115 NCAA Division I programs playing both Division I men’s basketball and Division I-A football, according to a second annual survey by The Sporting News in which schools were graded according to standards ranging from on-field to academic performance.

The survey was based on the 2000 football and 1999-2000 basketball seasons.

Notre Dame received one A, two B+s and a B for a 3.42 grade-point average. The Irish finished behind Stanford (3.5), Michigan State (3.5) and North Carolina (3.5).

In the first survey released in September 1999 (and based on the four previous seasons), the Irish (at 3.67) finished third behind Penn State (3.92) and North Carolina (3.75).

Schools were rated based on grades in four areas:

* “Do We Play Fair?” (Notre Dame received a B this year, an A last time) — number of teams sponsored, their success rates, graduation rates for all sports (for those who entered from 1984 through 1993) and Title IX compliance.

* “Do We Graduate?” (Notre Dame received an A both years) — graduation rates for classes entering from 1990-93, based on the most recent statistics published by the NCAA in its 2000 Division I Graduation-Rates Report.

* “Do We Rock?” (Notre Dame received a B+ this year, an A- last year) — fan support, attendance, merchandise sold, size of athletic budget, number of teams and points awarded in Sears Directors’ Cup competition.

* “Do We Win?” (Notre Dame received a B+ this year, a B last year) — wins, regular-season conference championships, conference tournament championships, rank in The Sporting News polls and performances in NCAA tournament and bowl games.

The latest survey is in the Feb. 26 issue of The Sporting News.

Here’s how the top 10 teams ranked in each category (last year’s ranking in parentheses):

Rank/School “Win” “Graduate” “Rock” “Play Fair” Total
1. Stanford (4) B+ A B- A 3.50
2. Michigan State (10) A A- A C+ 3.50
3. North Carolina (2) B+ A- A B 3.50
4. Notre Dame (3) B+ A B+ B 3.42
5. Purdue (7) A B+ A- B- 3.42
6. Washington (20) A- B B+ A- 3.42
7. Iowa State (28) A B+ B- B+ 3.33
8. Duke (6) B A C+ A 3.33
9. North Carolina State (36) B- A- A- B 3.25
10. Wisconsin (12) A- B- A B- 3.25