Irish Remain 5th in NACDA Directors’ Cup
This is Notre Dame’s best position ever at this point in the year.

May 1, 2003

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame remains in fifth place (its best position ever at this point in the year) in the final set of winter sports standings released in the 2002-03 Division I NACDA Directors’ Cup all-sports competition (formerly known as Sears Directors’ Cup) sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

Notre Dame’s previous highest standing at the end of the winter seasons was 10th in 1996-97 (the Irish ended up 14th overall that year). The last two years Notre Dame stood 13th at the finish of the winter seasons, ending up 11th and 13th in the final listings.

Notre Dame had stood in third place following the end of the 2002 fall sports seasons. That marked the highest ranking for Notre Dame since the Irish were third in the ’96-’97 final fall standings.

During the winter, the Irish earned 345 points — 100 points from the combined NCAA men’s and women’s fencing title, 64 each from NCAA Sweet 16 appearances by both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, 40.5 from a 32nd-place finish in women’s indoor track and field, 39 from a 33rd-place finish in women’s swimming and 37.5 from a 34th-place finish in men’s indoor track and field.

Fall NCAA competition earned the Irish 319 points based on their third-place finish in women’s cross country (85 points, highest total ever in that sport for the Irish), their 22nd-place finish in men’s cross country (30 points), their third-round appearance in women’s soccer (64 points), their second-round appearances in men’s soccer and volleyball (50 points each) and their 17th-place finish in football in the final USA Today/ESPN poll (40 points).

Notre Dame was the only school in the country to make postseason appearances in all six of those sports during the fall 2002 season. Notre Dame and Texas are the only schools in the country to play in football bowl games and also advance to the Sweet 16 in both men’s and women’s basketball.

Stanford (1016.5 points) leads the competition thanks to its NCAA championship in men’s cross country and its second-place finishes in volleyball, women’s cross country and men’s soccer. Second is Michigan, followed by Penn State, Texas and Notre Dame.

The current standings include results from NCAA fall competition in volleyball, field hockey, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and football – plus winter competition in fencing, men’s and women’s swimming, wrestling, skiing and men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s gymnastics.

The next update to include some spring sports will be issued May 29, with a second spring update June 16 and the final standings to be released June 26. Notre Dame so far this spring is guaranteed points from its NCAA bid in women’s tennis (the Irish play May 9 against Missouri on the Vanderbilt campus in a first-round match).

In previous years in which the Directors’ Cup competition has been held, Notre Dame has finished 11th in 1993-94, 30th in 1994-95, 11th in 1995-96, 14th in 1996-97, tied for 31st in 1997-98, 25th in 1998-99, 21st in 1999-2000, 11th in 2000-01 and 13th in 2001-02.

Here are the current standings: 1.Stanford 1016.5, 2.Michigan 840.5, 3.Penn State 817.5, 4.Texas 668.5, 5.Notre Dame 664, 6.Ohio State 632, 7.Minnesota 615, 8.North Carolina 556.5, 9.Auburn 532.5, 10.Wisconsin 523, 11.UCLA 516.25, 12.Florida 496.5, 13.Indiana 491.25, 14.Arizona State 490.5, 15.Georgia 454.