Penn State earns another top-10 finish in Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings


For the third consecutive year and the 11th time in the past 22 years, Penn State has earned a top-10 finish in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings.

The Nittany Lions placed No. 8 in the final 2014-15 Directors' Cup rankings, remaining one of only nine programs nationwide to have finished in the top 25 in all 22 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup final standings.

Penn State has earned three consecutive top-10 Directors' Cup finishes for the first time since the initial three years of the program, from 1993-94 through 1995-96. The Nittany Lions were No. 4 in the fall 2014 standings, earning their highest fall finish in five years, and No. 2 in the final winter Directors' Cup standings.

Twenty Penn State teams competed in their respective NCAA Championships in 2014-15, led by the women's volleyball winning its seventh national title, in addition to the football team winning the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. A total of 30 teams participated in postseason competition. Nine Nittany Lion squads finished in the top 10 in their respective NCAA Championships this year, with four teams placing in the top four.

Penn State's 11 top-10 finishes in the 22 years of the Directors' Cup rank No. 2 in the Big Ten Conference and No. 8 nationally.

Stanford won the 2014-15 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup with 1,448 points and was followed by UCLA (1,236), USC (1,209), Florida (1,188.5), North Carolina (1,152), Virginia (1,129.5), Ohio State (1,087), Penn State (1,060.75). Texas (1,057.5) and Notre Dame (1,010.25).

The ACC (3), Pac-12 (3), Big Ten (2), Big 12 (1) and SEC (1) claimed the top 10 spots in the final Directors' Cup standings.

Penn State won the 2014 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship and earned Big Ten titles in men's gymnastics, women's lacrosse and women's soccer in 2014-15. Three Nittany Lions won individual NCAA Championships this season: Senior wrestler Matt Brown won the 174-pound national championship, freshman Thad Lawson captured the individual title on the floor exercise and freshman fencer Andrew Mackiewicz won the men's sabre national title.

The Nittany Lions have won 74 national championships and 92 Big Ten titles all-time, including five NCAA titles and 19 Big Ten crowns since September 2012. Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 89 percent and rank No. 3 among all Division I schools with 189 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time.

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.