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Cav athletics ranks 13th in Sears Directors' Cup

Attention all Cavalier sports fans: There is something to boast about. Okay, so the Virginia athletic program may not be the absolute best in the country - that title goes to Stanford. But at least you can say Cavalier athletics is one of the nation's best.

In the final standings of the 1999-2000 Division I Sears Directors' Cup, an award that honors the institution with the best all-around athletic program, the University's intercollegiate athletic program ranked 13th among NCAA Division I schools. Virginia finished with 698.5 points based on the combined performances of 20 sports - 10 men's and 10 women's - during the 1999-2000 academic year.

The Cup "is a good measurement of your athletic programs," said Athletic Director Terry Holland. "It's a fun thing and a good, strong indicator of your program."

Points earned from 17 Cavalier sports propelled Virginia to its high standing. Those included women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, field hockey, golf, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's tennis, men's and women's track and field, rowing, volleyball and wrestling.

Stanford has dominated the Sears Directors' Cup, upholding its reputation as the school with the best athletics in the country. The Cardinal finished first in this year's Division I standings with a total of 1,359.5 points and won the Cup for the sixth consecutive year.

Stanford "has an incredible, broad-based program," said Bob Vecchione, associate executive director of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. "Stanford excels in all the sports."

The University may not be at Stanford's level yet, but its athletic program has proven to be one of the nation's elite and most consistent. Virginia has finished in the top 25 each year in the seven-year history of the Sears Directors' Cup program and in the top 15 each of the past three years.

Holland said the Athletic Department pays attention to the rankings, but only for the sake of satisfying friendly rivalries with other schools.

"The ACC tries to get as many teams in the rankings as possible," he said. "This year, North Carolina was ranked ahead of us. Last year, it was Duke. But we try to avoid manipulating the process just for points."


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