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Grand Valley State Claims Second Consecutive Sports Academy Directors' Cup

June 17, 2005

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Lake Buena Vista, Florida - Defending champion Grand Valley State University (Mich.) has won its second consecutive Sports Academy Directors' Cup in Division II, the prestigious award presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), United States Sports Academy and USA TODAY to the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country.

The 2004-05 Sports Academy Directors' Cup winners were announced at NACDA's 40th Anniversary Convention in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and the four winning institutions -- one in each of the NCAA Divisions (I, II, and III), and the NAIA -- were awarded with their Sports Academy Directors' Cups.

Grand Valley State won its first Directors' Cup last year and had been the runner-up the previous two years. This year, the Lakers accumulated 801 points, 194 points ahead of the runner-up, University of Nebraska Omaha.

Led by their runner-up finish in women's golf, the Lakers sealed the Sports Academy Directors' Cup win with five additional top 10 finishes in women's cross country (4th), baseball (4th), football (5th), women's basketball (5th) and men's cross country (6th). The Lakers also placed 14th in women's swimming, 16th in women's indoor track and field, 17th in women's volleyball and tennis, 18th in men's indoor track and field, 21st in men's golf and 32nd in men's tennis. Grand Valley State scored points in six men's and the maximum of seven women's sports. The Lakers averaged 62 points per sport.

Developed as a joint effort between USA TODAY and NACDA, the Sports Academy 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.

Reaching the top five for the first time is this year's runner-up, University of Nebraska Omaha, who recorded 607 points. The Mavericks won the national title in wrestling and placed third in women's soccer, fifth in women's indoor track and field, seventh in women's golf, ninth in baseball and women's swimming and tennis, 17th in women's volleyball and 33rd in softball and men's basketball.

Rounding out the top five in the standings were California State University Chico, third with 588.5 points; University of North Dakota, fourth with 584 points; and California State University Bakersfield, in fifth with 561 points.

While Grand Valley State won the Sports Academy Directors' Cup for NCAA Division II competition, the 2004-05 winners in the other categories include: Division I - Stanford University; Division III - Williams College (Mass.); and NAIA - Azusa Pacific University (Calif).