Thanks to an historic run by the MIT football team this season, the MIT Varsity Athletics program moved into first place in the final fall standings of the Division III Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup released by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). It is the first time that the Engineers’ program has been in first place in the Directors’ Cup standings.
Football was the final fall sport to be incorporated into the rankings. With MIT reaching the second round of the NCAA Division III Football Championship, the Engineers received 53 points in the cup standings. That was enough to lift MIT, which was tied for second with Tufts University in the previous rankings, past Williams College and into first place. MIT received points in five of the seven sports used to calculate the final fall standings. In addition to football, MIT also competed in NCAA Championship play in cross country where the women’s program picked up a second-place finish at the national championships while the men took eighth. Women’s Soccer and Women’s Volleyball also earned NCAA bids, with both teams taking first round victories.
MIT totaled 313.5 points in the cup standings, edging out Williams, which received 307 points. Rounding out the top five are Christopher Newport University with 298 points; Johns Hopkins University with 284 points; and Tufts with 260.5 points.
A measure of overall success of collegiate athletics programs, the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between NACDA and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 18 sports — nine women’s and nine men’s. A complete list of the rankings can be viewed on the NACDA website.