Sept. 8, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame athletic program ranks third in the nation among 112 NCAA Division I programs, according to a survey by The Sporting News in which schools were graded according to standards ranging from on-field to academic performance.

Notre Dame received two A’s, an A- and a B for a 3.67 grade-point average. The Irish finished behind only Penn State (3.92) and North Carolina (3.75). Rounding out the top 10 behind Notre Dame were Stanford, Florida, Duke, Purdue, Virginia, Nebraska and Michigan State.

Schools were rated based on grades in four areas:

  • “Do We Play Fair?” (Notre Dame received an A) — number of teams sponsored, their success rates, graduation rates for all sports and Title IX compliance.
  • “Do We Graduate?” (Notre Dame received an A) — graduation rates for classes entering from 1989-92, based on the most recent statistics published by the NCAA.
  • “Do We Rock?” (Notre Dame received an A-) — 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) — wins, regular-season conference championships, conference tournament championships, rank in The Sporting News polls and performance in NCAA tournaments.

The survey is the cover story in the September 13 issue of The Sporting News.

Here’s how the top five teams ranked in each category:

                 "Play Fair"  "Graduate"  "Rock"  "Win"   Total
1. Penn State A A A A- 3.922. North Carolina B+ A- A A 3.753. Notre Dame A A A- B 3.674. Stanford A A B B+ 3.585. Florida B- A- A- A 3.50