Penn State rises to second in Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- On the strength of two national championships, Penn State has moved up to second in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Standings with a total of 792 points. Points from the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball, fencing, men’s and women’s swimming & diving and wrestling championships were all added to this update’s total.

Stanford leads the Directors’ Cup with 997.75 points and Penn State is next with 792. Wisconsin (680), Notre Dame (673.25) and North Carolina (650) round out the Top 5.

Fencing earned its 13th NCAA Championship in program history highlighted by a national championship effort by Kaito Streets (Redwood City, Calif.) in the men’s sabre. As a team, the Nittany Lions finished the competition with 180 bout victories, toppling Princeton’s second place finish of 159. This title is Penn State's fourth in the past eight seasons. Penn State is the winningest fencing program in the NCAA championship history. 

The Penn State wrestling team captured its fourth consecutive NCAA title after out-pacing Minnesota for the championship by 5.5 points. Seniors David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) and Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) both won individual national championships, with Taylor going on to be named 2014 NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Wrestler, won the NCAA's Most Dominant Wrestler Award and his second consecutive Hodge Trophy. Coach Cael Sanderson’s Penn State squad is one of only three teams to win four straight national titles in wrestling.

The pair of national championships earned Penn State 200 Directors’ Cup points.

WBCA Honorable Mention All-American Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) led the Lady Lions to a NCAA Sweet Sixteen berth and 64 Directors’ Cup points. Penn State defeated Wichita State in the opening round of the tournament before downing Florida to get to the regional semifinals, where they lost to host Stanford. The Lady Lions captured their third consecutive Big Ten regular season title in 2013-14 and advanced to the NCAA regional semifinals for the second time in three years.

The men’s swimming and diving program turned in its best performance at the NCAA Championships in more than a decade, posting 63 total points to finish in 17th place. The 63 points are the second-most Penn State has ever recorded and earned Penn State 57 Directors’ Cup points. All-American Shane Ryan (Havertown, Pa.) led the way at the championships, becoming just one of four Lions to have earned first team All-America honors in two different events at the same championship. 

The women’s swimming & diving program scored 42 points at the NCAA Championships, marking its best team finish since 2005 when Penn State finished 13th. Twelve Nittany Lions garnered All-America accolades. Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Quebec) turned in a career performance on day two of the championships as she posted a Big Ten record time in the 200 freestyle, becoming the first Penn State swimmer to garner first team All-America status since 2008. Women’s swimming & diving earned the Nittany Lions 56 points towards their total.     

The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings were developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports -- 10 women's and 10 men's. The next Directors’ Cup update will be released later this month.

Penn State is one of only nine programs nationwide to have finished in the Directors' Cup Top 25 in all 20 years, joined by Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, Southern California, Stanford, Texas and UCLA. Last year, Penn State finished sixth in the Directors’ Cup, its highest finish in a decade.

Penn State has won three NCAA Championships in 2013-14, its most since winning three in 1999-2000. Penn State has won a conference-best seven Big Ten titles this year and 15 over the past two years.

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Last Updated April 10, 2014