GREENVILLE, S.C. – Furman's men's programs continue to lead the Southern Conference all-sport race after the completion of the league's winter championship seasons, while the Paladin women sit in second place in the Germann Cup standings.
The Commissioner's and Germann cups are awarded annually to the Southern Conference schools fielding the league's best all-around men's and women's sports programs, respectively. Scoring is conducted on a percentage basis, with only the top seven sports for each school counting toward its season total. The SoCon sponsors 22 total sports with this year's addition of women's lacrosse.
Each sport is worth 10 points, with each spot in the standings given equal measure relative to how many schools sponsor that particular sport. For sports that determine a regular-season champion, a two-point bonus is awarded for winning the league tournament. Each school's total for the year is divided by 70, the maximum number of points possible when counting seven sports, to find its percentage.
Furman's men, seeking their first Commissioner's Cup since winning their only one in 1990-91, improved upon their lead from the fall thanks to third-place finishes in men's basketball and indoor track and field. The Paladins, who won the cross country and men's soccer championships and a share of the football crown in the fall, now have 43.03 points, good for a .615 percentage.
Three-time defending Commissioner's Cup champion ETSU remains in second place but lost some ground to Furman, seeing its deficit increase from 0.022 percentage points to 0.041. The Bucs tied the Paladins for third in the men's basketball standings this season and finished fourth in indoor track and field. Coupled with a share of their first-ever football title and runner-up finishes in cross country and men's soccer in the fall, ETSU has 40.21 points and a .574 percentage.
In the Germann Cup race, the top three from the fall standings stayed the same, although leader Samford saw its lead dwindle. The Bulldogs, seeking their first women's all-sport title since 2014-15 and third overall, won the indoor track and field championship in the winter. Samford, which also won the regular-season women's soccer title, capped a runner-up volleyball finish with a tournament title, and finished third in cross country in the fall, has 42.01 points for a .600 percentage.
Three-time defending Germann Cup champion Furman inched closer on the strength of a runner-up finish in women's basketball and a fourth-place at the indoor track and field championship. The Paladins, who won the cross country championship and added third-place finishes in women's soccer and volleyball in the fall, have 39.64 points and a .566 percentage, shaving .033 percentage points off their fall deficit.
The Commissioner's Cup was inaugurated in 1970 and the Germann Cup was first awarded in 1987. The latter is named for former SoCon Commissioner Ken Germann, who served as commissioner of the Southern Conference from 1974-86 and spearheaded the effort to introduce women's athletics to the league.
Six schools have won the Commissioner's Cup in the 48-year history of the award, including current members ETSU (2016-17, 2015-16 and 1982-83) Chattanooga (2014-15 and 2004-05) and Furman (1990-91).
Five schools have won the Germann Cup in its 31-year history. Among current schools, Furman owns a league-best 15, including 12 straight from 1992-2004. Samford has won two (2014-15 and 2009-10) and Chattanooga won in 2007-08.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
Commissioner's Cup (through winter sports)
1. Furman 0.615
2. ETSU 0.574
3. Wofford 0.516
4. Samford 0.399
5. The Citadel 0.346
6. VMI 0.339
7. Mercer 0.328
8. Chattanooga 0.315
9. UNCG 0.308
10. Western Carolina 0.275
Germann Cup (through winter sports)
1. Samford 0.600
2. Furman 0.566
3. ETSU 0.545
4. Chattanooga 0.378
5. Mercer 0.367
6. Western Carolina 0.356
7. Wofford 0.351
8. UNCG 0.346
9. VMI 0.156
10. The Citadel 0.115