EIU Ranked First In Learfield Sports Directors Cup Standings

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Published on July 2 2013 10:59 am
Last Updated on July 2 2013 10:59 am
Written by Millie Lange

CLEVELAND – Bolstered by strong national finishes in all three sports seasons Eastern Illinois athletics ranked first among Ohio Valley Conference schools in the final Learfield Sports Directors Cup standings.  Overall, points are awarded based on each institutions NCAA post-season finish in up to 20 sports – 10 men’s and 10 women’s.

The Panthers scored 123 overall points finishing in 136th place, just behind St. John’s of the Big East Conference and Arkansas State of the Sun Belt Conference.  EIU finished just ahead of Eastern Michigan from the Mid-American Conference and Massachusetts from Atlantic 10 Conference.

EIU scored points during the fall with the Panthers NCAA FCS football playoff appearance.  During the winter season EIU scored points at the NCAA Indoor Track National Championships as both Jade Riebold and Mick Viken placed in the top eight in the women’s and men’s pole vault.  During the spring season EIU again scored points at the NCAA Track National Championships with Riebold scoring points in the pole vault.

“This is a great accomplishment for our athletic department,” said EIU Director of the Athletics Barbara Burke.  “I am extremely proud of the hard work our coaches and student-athletes put in each and every day. This finish in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup shows that hard work has paid off.  It is an honor to be the top finishing school in the Ohio Valley Conference this season after winning the Commissioners Cup for a third time.”

Austin Peay was second among OVC schools in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup with 108.5 points, placing 151st overall.  Eastern Kentucky was 168th, Jacksonville State ranked 196th, Belmont and UT Martin were tied for 221st while Southeast Missouri rounded out the OVC schools scoring points in 291st.

The Learfield Sports Directors Cup is a program that honors institutions maintaining a broad-based program, achieving success in many sports, both men's and women's. Began in 1993-94 for Division I by National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USA Today, it was expanded in 1995-96 to include Division II, III and the NAIA and, in 2011-12, expanded to the junior/community colleges.