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June 26, 2002

Columbia, SC –

The University of South Carolina put an exclamation point on its most successful athletics year ever by finishing 11th in the final 2001-02 Division 1 Sears Directors’ Cup national all-sports standings. The end of the year rankings were released Wednesday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). The Gamecocks catapulted 14 spots to improve upon last year’s previous best showing of 25th.

Sixteen of USC’s 19 varsity sports teams which apply towards the Sears Cup race, received points for their performance at the NCAA championship level. The Gamecocks relied on a strong finish with their spring sports teams, highlighted by a national championship in women’s outdoor track and a national runners-up showing at the baseball College World series, to improve from the 24th spot that the school held down at the conclusion of this year’s winter standings. Other sterling efforts this season were turned in by the women’s basketball team, which advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight; the football team, which finished 13th in the final national polls; and the men’s track team, which finished sixth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

“We congratulate our student-athletes and coaches for an outstanding year,” said USC athletics director Mike McGee. “The commitment to excellence has been made across the board and it’s rewarding to see the efforts of our athletes and coaches come to fruition. Our coaches have recruited the caliber of young people it takes to compete at the highest level. All of our coaches have set their standards high. The confidence has been contagious throughout the department. Much of our success stems from that, and we have had some good fortune, as well.”