May 20, 2002
Bowling Green, Ky. - Western Kentucky University athletes have enjoyed a banner year in Sun Belt Conference competition, capping it off by winning the league's coveted Vic Bubas Cup All-Sports Award.
The award, symbolic of overall excellence in the athletic program among conference schools, is named in honor of the first commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference.
Hilltopper athletes completed competition in the league's 18 sports with 108 points in the scoring column, powered by Sun Belt championships in men's basketball, women's swimming and volleyball. Western outdistanced runner-up New Mexico State (98) by 10 points and third place finisher North Texas (96.5) by 11.5 counters. Middle Tennessee, last year's Bubas Cup winner, was fourth at 92 points. Florida International (87.5) was fifth, Louisiana-Layayette (83.5) was sixth and South Alabama (77.5) was seventh.
In addition to those three titles, seven other Topper teams finished in either second (women's basketball, women's cross-country, softball and men's indoor track) or third (baseball, men's cross-country and men's outdoor track) place in their respective conference competitions.
Western has now won the Sun Belt's All-Sports championship on two occasions. Hilltopper athletes last laid claim to the trophy 15 years ago in 1987. However, WKU has been a consistent challenger for the annual award. In the school's 20-year association with the SBC, Topper athletes have finished in the top half of the final standings for the Vic Bubas Cup 17 times, including runner-up finishes in 1992, '93 and '94.
Scoring for the Bubas Cup is calculated as follows:
* in volleyball, men's basketball and women's basketball, points are awarded on a combination of divisional and tournament finish;
* in soccer, softball and baseball, points are based on regular season finish; and
* all other sports' points are based on championship tournament results.
For a sport to quality for points in the Bubas Cup standings, at least four member schools must sponsor the sport and compete in its championship. Points are awarded based on the number of schools sponsoring the sport. Institutions not sponsoring a sport do not receiver points in that sport. And, institutions tyring for positions split the combined points for the positions.