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Posted on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

University of Michigan sports teams atop fall Director's Cup standings

By Pete Cunningham

It's no secret that the University of Michigan athletic department has invested heavily in upgrading its facilities across the board in recent years.

That investment is paying off on the field.


The Michigan women's volleyball team's run to the Final Four has helped Michigan to the top of the Director's Cup standings.

Associated Press

Michigan currently sits atop the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors Division I Learfield Sports Director's Cup standings, which awards points to schools for how they finish in 20 sports -- 10 men's, 10 women's -- throughout the academic year. After the completion of seven NCAA postseason tournaments, Michigan is in first place with 348 points.

The Wolverines garnered the most points in the fall season for the volleyball team's recent run to the Final Four. Michigan's also earned points with a fifth place finish in women’s cross country, ninth place finishes in both women’s field hockey and soccer, 17th place in men’s soccer and 23rd in men’s cross country.

North Carolina is in second place with 342 points, while defending champion Stanford is in third place with 324.5 points.

Other Big Ten schools in the top 25 include Penn State (4th, 323.5) and Michigan State (15th, 215.5). Maryland, which will join the Big Ten in 2014, is currently in 14th place with 216 points.

Michigan finished in 10th place in the Director's Cup standing last year.

Check out the complete standings at



Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 11:33 p.m.

Readers should realize that the University of Michigan, in general, benefits from having excellent athletic programs which require expensive facilities and leadership. During years when football and basketball programs, particularly, are successful, alumni donations and applications for admission increase. Argue that such a desirable response should not happen but, in fact, it does.


Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

Sometimes there is a huge difference in the past and the future. While successful athletic teams will probably always draw interest from prospective students, I am not sure that we can always count on that also generating additional donations from current donors. While this may be historically true, I can see the day coming (shortly?) that the additional and increasing 'license" fees for the athletic department could well decrease other donations. Football seats, hockey seats, and basketball seats that have never required a license fee before have begun requiring them within the last couple of years. If someone that historically has paid only the $100 minimum 'activation' fee for their multi-sport tickets is now paying $75 to $200 per seat across several sports, where is that money coming from? An answer for some may well be to re-direct contributions that might otherwise go to other UM programs.


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

Department revenues are up roughly $25,000,000. Some of that is attributable to inflation, some of it due to more home games for football. A good chunk of it is probably due to Dave Brandon, the man who posters love to hate. Revenues are up; facilities are being renovated at a furious clip; the results on the various playing fields are improving. All of these things cost money and some fans are feeling disgruntled as a result. That said, those feeling the pinch can choose to not participate via buying tickets or merchandise. It is a choice within their control. Brandon isn't doing it all on his own, but seems to be driving the department in the right direction. The folks disgruntled by the expense should take note of the deferred maintenance issue. Some of those problems (depreciation for example) will never go away, but at least the "product" on the field is improving at the same time.


Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 12:58 a.m.

"When it costs more to see an armature football game than a professional football game I think it's fair to question the cost." Oh, are free to question it...without any attempt to be or interest in being snarky, you also have the right to not pay it at all. Even wealthy athletic departments need every dollar they can get and my hope is that people will not begin to boycott/protest by failing to attend, but the bottom line is that market prices are signals to the seller. If you withdraw from the market in sufficient numbers, either prices will have to be cut, or other sources of revenue will have to be accessed. Sorry to hear that the games are expensive. That said, I'm glad to see the athletic programs both raising a lot of money but also upgrading facilities and improving team rankings...that is all to the good.

Blue Marker

Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 10:46 p.m.

When it costs more to see an armature football game than a professional football game I think it's fair to question the cost.


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

@simon...I am certainly no fan of Brandon but I am a fan of our student athletes. I take great offense to your belittling the achievements of these young women and men. You must not have a clue what it takes to fulfill the responsibilities of the student athlete in the classroom and in their respective sport.


Sat, Dec 22, 2012 : 12:02 a.m.

Let's stop feeding the beast, then. A quarter of a billion dollars to be spent on athletic facilities for 800 athletes? The collegiate-entertainment complex is out of control. The future's not on the basketball court, volleyball court or the football field. Obscene...


Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

I appreciate you clarifying your stance. Unfortunately the beast of college athletics today requires that state of the art facilities be available in order to recruit in this day and age. The best and brightest high school students are going to select the school that provides them a perceived advantage on the field of play and in the classroom. Keeping up with the Jones' is certainly costing plenty at the UM as well as elsewhere.

Simon Green

Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

Where did I belittle the achievements of student athletes? Actually I do have a clue what it takes, (and it lies with the character of the individual, not with the size of the locker room TV screens) but that is beside the point. Maybe my sarcasm was lost(?) in comment format, all the kudos in the world to student athletes and their dual athletic and academic accomplishments. Let me try it this way... That they absolutely require the best facilities, that would rival those at the US Olympic Training center, is an assumption I simply do not agree with... Certainly student athletes have achieved in the days prior to the current collegiate athletic facilities Arms Race. All Hail the Mighty Brandon.

Simon Green

Fri, Dec 21, 2012 : 6:12 p.m.

In the future we will reflect on these days as the dawning of a new era, in which the mighty UM Athletic Dept, buoyed by skyrocketing football, basketball and hockey ticket prices and "donations", financially steamrolled its way to glory at the expense of alumni, fans, and common sense. One day the NCAA will rename the Director's Cup the Almighty Brandon Cup and engrave an image of His likeness on the front...