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Scoring Update for Division III

Williams College Claims Third Sears Directors' Cup

As of June 15, 1999

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. - Williams College [Mass.] reclaimed its title as the best athletics program in NCAA Division III competition by winning its third Sears Directors' Cup, the prestigious award presented annually by National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) to the best overall collegiate athletics program in the country. The 1998-99 Sears Directors' Cup winners, one awarded to the top institution in each of the NCAA Divisions -- I, II, and III, and the NAIA, were announced today at the NACDA Convention.

"The Sears Directors' Cup competition is truly the measuring stick for college athletics programs and rewards institutions for their commitment to achieving athletics excellence," said Williams College Assistant Athletics Director Gary Guerin, who was on-hand to accept his college's coveted award. "Williams College's third win reflects the remarkable accomplishments and dedication of our student-athletes, coaches and support staff."

Williams College won its third Sears Directors' Cup in the last four years by posting 640 points, 80 points ahead of runner-up, Middlebury College [Vt.]. The Ephs' men's tennis team, the 1999 NCAA Division III national champions, led the Williams' charge for the Cup.

Williams also recorded top 10 finishes in women's tennis (2nd), women's swimming and diving (3rd), men's cross country (3rd), men's soccer (3rd), women's basketball (5th), women's indoor track and field (7th), women's cross country (8th), men's golf (8th), women's soccer (9th) and women's volleyball (9th). Other team scoring included skiing (12th), men's swimming and diving (12th), men's indoor track and field (31st) and baseball (34th).

"Sears proudly supports participation and excellence in college athletics," said Mark Cohen, Sears executive vice president of marketing. "The Sears Directors' Cup program rewards Williams College for its continued dedication to achieving athletics and academic success, reflected in the college's third win."

Each year, the Sears Directors' Cup program, presented in partnership by Sears and NACDA, awards Waterfordâ Crystal trophies to the top athletics programs in NCAA Division I, II, III and NAIA and presents a total of $100,000 in postgraduate academic scholarships to students in all four collegiate divisions. The Sears Directors' Cup is the only national awards and academic scholarship program to recognize all NCAA and NAIA championship sports for both women's and men's athletics.

Developed as a joint effort between USA Today and NACDA, the Sears Directors' Cup program is the only all-sports competition that recognizes the institution in each of the four categories with the best overall athletics program. The Sears Directors' Cup is part of the Sears Collegiate Champions program which annually awards more than 2,200 conference and sport champion trophies and a quarter-of-a-million dollars in academic scholarships.

While Williams took home the Sears Directors' Cup for NCAA Division III competition, the winners in the other categories include: Division I - Stanford University; Division II - Adams State College [Col.]; NAIA - Simon Fraser University [B.C.].

Every year, Sears and NACDA award $100,000 in postgraduate academic scholarships, five $5,000 scholarships in each division, to assist students who support their institution's athletics departments. This includes managers, trainers, band members, cheerleaders, assistant coaches, sports information assistants, facility staff and academic support personnel. For each category, four outstanding recipients are selected by a nationwide nomination process, administered by NACDA, while the fifth recipient is a student at the institution that wins the Sears Directors' Cup.

"The scholarship component of the Sears Directors' Cup program, like the trophy component, aims to recognize and reward the best in the nation," said Lee McElroy, chair of the Sears Directors' Cup Committee and director of athletics at American University. "The distinguished scholarship winners represent the outstanding group of students who support their institutions both athletically and academically."

This year, Sears and NACDA will award each of the top five institutions in all four divisions with Sears Directors' Cup plaques, commemorating their program's dedication to athletics greatness. This year's runner-up institutions in the NCAA Division III include: Middlebury College [Vt.], The College of New Jersey, Amherst College and Rowan College [N.J.].

Of the 387 eligible colleges and universities in the NCAA Division III, a total of 229

(59 percent) scored points in the Sears Directors' Cup competition. Complete final rankings on all of these institutions are available on NACDA's home page at www.nacda.com.

NACDA, now in its 34th year, serves as the professional and educational association for more than 6,100 collegiate athletics directors, associates, assistants and conference administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of more than $41 billion. The company serves families throughout the country through 850 full-line department stores and more than 2,100 specialized retail locations nationwide. More information about the company is available on Sears Web site, www.sears.com.

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