March 23, 2006

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame remains in first place in the first set of winter sports standings released in the 2005-06 United States Sports Academy Division I Directors’ Cup all-sports competition sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (formerly known as Sears Directors’ Cup).

So far this winter, the Irish have earned 133 points based on their fourth-place finish in fencing (40 points), a 33rd-place finish in men’s indoor track and field (39.5), a 39th-place finish in women’s indoor track and field (32.5), and a 41st-place finish in women’s swimming (21). Still to come are points from Notre Dame’s first-round NCAA appearance in women’s basketball.

Fall NCAA competition earned the Irish 412 points based on their third-place finish in men’s cross country (85 points), their seventh-place finish in women’s cross country (69 points), their quarterfinal appearance in women’s soccer (73), their third-round appearance in men’s soccer (64), their regional semifinal appearance in women’s volleyball (64) and their 11th-place finish in football based on the final USA Today poll (57). Notre Dame ranked atop the final fall standings for the second straight year – and its 412 points marked its highest-ever fall total.

Stanford (536.5 points) is second, thanks to its ’05 NCAA title in women’s cross country and runnerup finishes in men’s water polo and women’s indoor track and field. Penn State (521.25 points) ranks third, thanks to its NCAA runnerup finish in fencing, a third-place finish in football and its NCAA semifinal appearance in women’s soccer. Texas (women’s indoor track and field NCAA champion) is fourth, followed by Wisconsin (men’s cross country NCAA champion).

The current standings include results from NCAA fall competition in women’s field hockey, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s volleyball, men’s Division I-A and I-AA football, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s water polo – plus winter competition in fencing, rifle, skiing, women’s swimming, men’s wrestling, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field.

The next sets of winter standings will be available April 6, 13 and 27.

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, 13th in 2001-02, tied for 13th in 2002-03, 19th in 2003-04 and 16th in 2004-05.

Here are the current standings:

1.Notre Dame 545, 2.Stanford 536.5, 3.Penn State 521.25, 4.Texas 494.5, 5.Wisconsin 491, 6.USC 436.75, 7.Nebraska 427.5, 8.Minnesota 401, 9.Ohio State 398, 10.North Carolina 389.5, 11.UCLA 386.75, 12.Tennessee 364, 13.Colorado 352.5, 14.Duke 352.25, 15.Florida State 351.75.