GANSEVOORT, N.Y. - The Penn State Berks athletics program tied for second place out of 14 institutions in the 2014-15 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Presidents Cup standings.
The NEAC established a new approach to awarding its Presidents' Cup this year in an effort to truly reflect the core values of NCAA Division III. In addition to calculating athletics success, which was the only factor taken into consideration when awarding the conference's Presidents' Cup in the past, the NEAC also took into account three new criteria: academics, sportsmanship and community service.
These three new categories, along with athletics success, will now each have their own sub-cup winners. Each of the NEAC's 14 full-member institutions were given a ranking based on their results from each category, with the total rankings from all four then being added together to determine the overall winner, who is then crowned the overall Presidents' Cup honoree. The lower the overall score, the better the rank. This new and unique approach to determine the NEAC Presidents' Cup winner looks to be the first model of its kind across all 43 NCAA Division III conferences.
Penn State Abington was the overall winner with 18 points, followed by Berks and Keuka College with 22 points. Wells College collected 22.5 points to place fourth and Lancaster Bible College rounded out the top five with 24 points. Abington finished in first place in the athletics and community service sub-cups. Berks took first place in the academics cup, while Lancaster Bible won the sportsmanship cup.
The Nittany Lions finished fourth overall in the Athletics Directors' Cup, which ranks schools based on their finish in the regular season standings. The women's sports finished second out of 14 schools thanks to the strong seasons by soccer, softball, volleyball, and tennis. Tennis and baseball led the men's side to a 6th place finish out of 13 institutions.
Berks won the Faculty Athletic Representatives' Cup after recording a record-setting 77 scholar-athletes. The award is given out based on GPA average and the percentage of scholar-athletes. The Nittany Lions finished second with a cumulative GPA of 3.150 and a .4529% of scholar-athletes, but the two groups combined to be the highest of any institution.
The second place finish is the second best in program history, trailing only the 2013-14 year when Berks placed first overall.
2014-15 NEAC Presidents' Cup Overall Results
Rank Institution Points
1 Penn State Abington 18
2 Penn State Berks 22
2 Keuka College 22
4 Wells College 22.5
5 Lancaster Bible College 24
6 Gallaudet University 25
7 SUNY Cobleskill 26
7 Morrisville State College 26
9 Cazenovia 35
10 Wilson College 37.5
11 SUNY Polytechnic 38
12 College of Saint Elizabeth 40
13 Bryn Athyn College 40.5
14 Penn College of Technology 43.5