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Grand Valley State Claims Third Straight U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup

June 19, 2006

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New Orleans, Louisiana - Two-time defending champion Grand Valley State University (Mich.) has won its third consecutive U.S. 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 2005-06 U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup winners were announced at NACDA's 41st Annual Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the four winning institutions -- one in each of the NCAA divisions (I, II, and III), and the NAIA -- were awarded with their U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cups.

Grand Valley State won the last two Directors' Cups and had been the runner-up the previous two years. This year, the Lakers accumulated 974.75 points, a dominating 382.25 points ahead of the runner-up, Abilene Christian University.

Grand Valley State won three national championships, in football and women's volleyball and basketball, to claim the U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup. Grand Valley also recorded seven additional top 10 finishes in women's cross country (2nd), women's golf (4th), women's outdoor track and field (4th), men's cross country (4th), women's soccer (5th), baseball (9th) and indoor track and field (10th). The Lakers also placed 13th in women's swimming, 15th in men's swimming, 17th in women's tennis, 27th in men's golf, 32nd in men's tennis, 33rd in softball and 33rd in men's basketball. Grand Valley State scored points in the maximum of seven women and seven men's sports. However, the Lakers do not receive points for softball or women and men's swimming as Grand Valley State had already scored in the Directors' Cup maximum of seven women and seven men's sports. The Lakers averaged 69 points per sport.

Developed as a joint effort between USA Today and NACDA, the U.S. 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 runner-up status for the first time is Abilene Christian University, who recorded 592.5 points. The Wildcats won the national title in men's outdoor track and field and placed second in women's indoor track and field, fifth in women's tennis, eighth in men's cross country, ninth in women's volleyball, 11th in women's cross country, 17th in men's tennis, 25th in baseball, 33rd in softball and 53rd in men's golf.

Rounding out the top five in the standings were the University of Nebraska Omaha, third with 591 points; Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, fourth with 569.25 points; and California State University Bakersfield, in fifth with 518 points.