UK in Directors' Cup Top 25 for first time

Kentucky was recognized Thursday as one of the top athletics departments in the country with a No. 25 finish in the 2012-13 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings.

Kentucky was recognized Thursday as one of the top athletics departments in the country with a No. 25 finish in the 2012-13 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings.

It marked the highest finish for UK in the history of the Directors' Cup. The previous best was No. 26 during the 1996-97 school year.

The Wildcats also tied a school mark by placing sixth among Southeastern Conference schools. The league led the nation with three programs in the top 10: Florida (No. 2), Texas A&M (No. 5) and Georgia (No. 10).

Kentucky has now finished in the Top 30 of the final standings in three of the last four years. It was No. 50 in 2002-03, the first year after A.D. Mitch Barnhart arrived in Lexington. He has a stated goal of being in the top 15 by 2015.

The Directors' Cup was founded in 1993-94 as a result of a joint effort by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USA Today. Points are awarded by sport when teams advance to the postseason in sports sanctioned by the NCAA. Fifteen of UK's 22 programs combined to score UK's 748 points, led by rifle's second-place finish, an Elite Eight appearance by women's basketball, and trips to the round of 16 by volleyball, men's tennis and softball.

Kentucky placed 25th despite not receiving points for men's basketball, which typically places among the nation's elite, and football.

Stanford won its 19th consecutive Directors' Cup, narrowly edging Florida. UCLA climbed to third in the final standings after winning the College World Series this week. Michigan placed fourth.

The Wildcats' big in-state rival, Louisville, finished 38th in the standings despite a strong year from its football, men's and women's basketball teams, and the baseball Cardinals.

SEC STANDINGS:
2. Florida
5. Texas A&M
10. Georgia
19. LSU
21. Arkansas
25. Kentucky
26. Alabama
33. Auburn
37. Tennessee
46. Vanderbilt
47. South Carolina
49. Mississippi State
53. Missouri
61. Ole Miss

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