FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas has once again secured its spot among the top 25 schools in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup, a ranking that tracks the nation’ most successful intercollegiate athletic programs. The Razorbacks have accumulated 728 total points and are ranked No. 22 in the spring standings released on Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Arkansas is ahead of last year’s scoring pace when the Razorbacks finished 24th. The 2011-12 final standings will be released later this month and will include points earned in baseball, the only remaining sport to be calculated following the completion of the College World Series.
"Our student-athletes and coaches have once again helped Razorback Athletics secure a place among the nation’s most successful all sports programs," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "Our spring sports have done a tremendous job in advancing to the post-season and giving us the opportunity to move further up the standings. With their success and our baseball team’s trip to the College World Series, we are in great position to improve on last year’s finish in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup and complete one of the most successful years in Razorback history."
This spring Arkansas has already earned 285 points including 70.5 points from the men’s track and field team after the Razorbacks finished eighth at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The women’s track and field team earned 48.5 points for a 24th place finish. Arkansas picked up points in both men’s and women’s golf with the Razorbacks earning 40 points for advancing to the NCAA Regional in men’s golf and 51 points for the women’s golf team’s berth in the NCAA Championship. The Razorback softball team racked up 50 points for its trip to the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas reached the regional championship game before falling to No. 1 California. The women’s tennis team also made post-season play earning 25 points for their berth in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship.
Arkansas earned 320 points in the winter sports segment, led by 90 points from a national runner-up finish by the men’s indoor track and field team and the 73.5 points earned from gymnastics. The women’s indoor track and field team garnered 73.5 points for finishing in fifth place at the national meet. The women’s basketball team earned 50 points for defeating Dayton and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The women’s swimming and diving team earned 33 points for a 41st place finish at the NCAA Championships.
This year, the Razorbacks ranked 43rd in the final fall standings with a total of 123 points, led by 75 points for the football team’s victory in the AT&T Cotton Bowl and a final top-five national ranking in the USA Today Coaches football poll. Arkansas also earned 48 points for a 14th place finish at the NCAA Women’s Cross Country Championships.
Arkansas has finished in the top 25 of the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup in three of the past four years, marking the first time in program history it has accomplished that feat. In 2010-11, Arkansas finished second in the nation among schools with 19 or fewer sports and eighth among schools with 20 or fewer sports.
The Directors’ Cup program has been tracking the success of the nation’s top intercollegiate athletics programs since 1993-94.