EIU Wins Commissioner's Cup for Overall Athletic Excellence

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Published on May 28 2013 4:40 pm
Last Updated on May 28 2013 4:40 pm
Written by Millie Lange

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Illinois University has won the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner's Cup for the 2012-13 school year the league office announced on Tuesday. It marks the third Cup title for the Panthers under the new format which began five years ago. The award, which is a symbol of overall athletic excellence in Conference-sponsored championships, will be presented to university officials on May 31 at the league's annual Honors Brunch in Nashville.

Since the new format was adopted five years ago, the Panthers have won three of the five OVC Commissioner’s Cups while placing second the other two years.  EIU won in championship in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2012-13.

“Congratulations to all of our coaches and student-athletes at Eastern Illinois this past year.  The Commissioner’s Cup is the highest honor a school can receive from the Ohio Valley Conference Office representing how well your athletic teams competed on the field of competition during the school year.  This past year EIU won six conference championships covering the fall, winter and spring sports seasons,” said EIU director of athletics Barbara Burke.  “This marks the third time in the last four years that EIU has won the award.  I’m pleased to accept this award on behalf of President William Perry and Eastern Illinois.”

Eastern Illinois finished the year with 124 points, three points more than second-place Eastern Kentucky, who won the Cup last year. EIU was bolstered by first-place finishes in football, men’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field, women’s outdoor track and field, softball and women’s basketball. EIU also had a second-place finish in men’s cross country and third-place finish in women’s cross country and women’s indoor track and field. Prior to the Commissioner’s Cup being instituted in 2008-09, the Panthers had won three Men’s All-Sport Championships (2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03) and one Women’s All-Sport Championship (2001-02).

Eastern Kentucky finished with 121 points while Southeast Missouri (104.25) and Belmont (103) were third and fourth. The standings were rounded out by Murray State (98.6), Jacksonville State (92.5), Austin Peay (90), SIUE (81.5), Tennessee Tech (81), Morehead State (79.3), UT Martin (77.2) and Tennessee State (74.5).

The award (which started in 1962-63 for men's sports and 1980-81 for women's sports) was previously divided into a Men's All-Sport Champion and a Women's All-Sport Champion. Points were awarded for each of the 18 sponsored sports and each school was required to count its totals from each sport in its grand total.

Under the latest scoring system, schools are required to count point totals for four main sports (football, volleyball, men's basketball and women's basketball) along with their next eight highest point totals from the remaining sports, regardless of gender. Belmont, Morehead State and SIUE, which do not compete in OVC football, count baseball as one of its four required sports.

The points system for scoring is as follows. For all sports (except rifle, men's indoor and men's outdoor track - which have six or fewer participating teams), the first place team earns 12 points, the second place team earns 11 points, etc. For rifle, men's indoor and men's outdoor track and field, the first-place team earns 12 points and subsequent point increments are calculated by dividing the total number of OVC member institutions by the number of institutions sponsoring the sport (for rifle that number is 2.4 less, for men's indoor track that number is 2.0 less and for men's outdoor track that number is 1.75 less). The scoring system also includes a bonus point for the winner of OVC Tournaments (soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, softball and baseball).