Led by a strong spring season and berths in postseason by 11 of its 19 teams, Northwestern University's athletic department earned its second-consecutive 29th-place showing in the 2005-06 Sports Academy Directors' Cup, matching the department's best showing in the history of the competition.
Northwestern earned 4.75 points more than last year to finish with a total of 537.5.
For the second year in a row, Northwestern finished sixth among its Big Ten peers in the Cup standings. Northwestern had never finished above ninth in the conference before last season. It has 19 teams, the fewest number in the Big Ten.
Developed in 1993-94 as a joint effort between USA Today and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), the United States Sports Academy Directors' Cup is the only all-sports competition that recognizes the institution with the best overall athletics program. Schools earn points by gaining NCAA postseason entrances in as many as 10 men's and 10 women's sports, receiving a maximum of 100 points for a national championship.
For the 2005-06 season, a scoring change was introduced into the process that differed from previous years. If a divisional sport is sponsored by 25 percent or less of the division's institutions, then the maximum number of available points for that sport is cut in half. With women's lacrosse winning its second-consecutive NCAA championship, Northwestern received 50 points instead of 100.