The Washington Post

Maryland women finish 10th in Capital One Cup, honoring Division I success on playing field

Led by field hockey’s fifth NCAA championship in seven years, Maryland’s women’s athletics program finished 10th in the Capital One Cup, which honors the country’s top Division I sports programs.

The Capital One Cup for Division I men’s athletics will be announced in the coming weeks. The Maryland men currently rank 14th in the standings.

Stanford took top honors for women’s sports, amassing 152.5 points for its teams’ finishes in NCAA Championships and in final coaches’ polls. The Cardinal won NCAA titles in women’s soccer and water polo and placed nine other women’s teams among the top 10 in the polls.

The award carries $200,000 in scholarship money.

Five ACC schools ranked among the top 25 in the women’s competition: Duke (5th; 83 points); Maryland (10th; 62 points); Florida State (14th; 50 points); Virginia (16th; 43 points) and North Carolina (tied with Connecticut for 25th; 34 points).

Maryland’s strong showing was helped not only by field hockey’s NCAA Championship but also by the successes of women’s lacrosse in reaching the NCAA tournament’s semifinals, women’s basketball in reaching the NCAA’s Elite Eight and women’s soccer in reaching the NCAA’s Sweet 16.

Maryland will have a tougher time contending for national awards that honor broad-based success in athletics next season, given the university’s plans to drop eight of its 27 varsity teams, including women’s water polo and swimming and diving, to address a rapidly escalating budget deficit. The teams are scheduled to be dropped on June 30.

Last Friday, Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman told university trustees that a projected deficit in Seminoles athletics had been erased because of an additional disbursement of roughly $1.6 million from the ACC.

ACC officials typically budget conservatively and told member schools to expect roughly $14 million each in shared revenue this year. When the final figures were tallied, member schools received roughly 10 percent more, with precise figures varying according to each school’s participation in bowl games and conference championships. And all schools benefited from the fact that the ACC had two football teams participate in BCS bowls (Clemson and Virginia Tech).

Nate Pine, Maryland’s senior associate athletic director, confirmed that Maryland received an additional disbursement on June 1, bringing its annual share of ACC revenue to $15.8 million. But Pine said that the overage didn’t represent a windfall of new money—not on a scale that could spare a varsity team—because Maryland officials refine their financial projections as the fiscal year unfolds.

“We’re constantly updating this,” Pine said, “so there’s not new pots of money that are popping up.”

Liz Clarke currently covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. She has also covered seven Olympic Games, two World Cups and written extensively about college sports, tennis and auto racing.


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