The University Record, March 18, 2002

U.S. News awards athletics top marks

By Theresa Maddix

U-M finds itself at the top of another national ranking—this time for intercollegiate athletics. For the first time U.S. News and World Report created an honor roll of athletics programs at Division I schools. The U-M Department of Intercollegiate Athletics was among the twenty unranked set of schools selected.

“It reinforces a survey of our undergraduate student body done two years ago,” says William Martin, director of athletics. “The students were asked to rank why they came to Michigan and they were given 20 factors to consider. Ranking highest, particularly among out-of-state students, were Michigan’s strong athletic traditions. They go a long way to attract high quality students.”

U.S. News used four criteria for selection: gender equity, win/loss record, number of sports offered and graduation rate. Its new ranking is “an effort to go beyond the headlines of the sports pages and examine more broadly the quality of America’s Division I athletic programs.”

Athletics also received good news this week from the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Student-athlete Alan Webb, track and field, is one of five finalists for the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award. The honor recognizes the nation’s top amateur athletes for leadership, character, sportsmanship and the ideals of amatuerism.