Photo by Paul Flessland
What is it?
An annual trophy that is given to one of nine (now eight) institutions competing in the Summit League. The winner is crowned by collecting the most combined points based on placement in league-sponsored sports. This award was first presented to Western Illinois University in 1996. Now, more than twenty years later, North Dakota State has claimed their second Commissioner’s Cup in 2017.
How the point system works
Points are distributed based on teams finish in the regular season standings. For example, in men’s basketball, South Dakota won the regular season title and were allocated nine points. NDSU finished second and received eight points, followed by Omaha who earned seven points by finishing third. Denver, Fort Wayne and South Dakota State tied for fourth in the standings and were each given five points. IUPUI, Western Illinois and Oral Roberts rounded out the bottom of the league and received three, two and one point, respectively.
Point Allocation Example: Men’s Basketball Final Regular Season Standings
1. South Dakota (12-4) – 9 points
2. North Dakota State (11-5) – 8
3. Omaha (9-7) – 7
T4. Denver (8-8) – 5
T4. Fort Wayne (8-8) – 5
T4. South Dakota State (8-8) – 5
7. IUPUI (7-9) – 3
8. Western Illinois (5-11) – 2
9. Oral Roberts (4-12) – 1
How NDSU won
NDSU won its second Commissioner’s Cup Trophy by 0.5 points, just edging South Dakota. The Bison accumulated the majority of their 89 points by winning all four track and field championships and finishing first in women’s soccer. They also finished second in women’s cross country, men’s basketball, softball and baseball.
The Summit League also honors the top men’s and women’s programs in the Summit League. The Dr. William Steinbrecher Award honors the program with the top men’s sports teams and the Dr. Helen Smiley Award goes to the top women’s program. NDSU finished second behind South Dakota State for the men’s award and second behind South Dakota for the women’s award.
The two Summit League Commissioner Cups NDSU has won sit in the front of the NDSU Athletics office at the SHAC.
Commissioner’s Cup Final Standings
1. North Dakota State – 89.0
2. South Dakota – 88.5
3. South Dakota State – 86.0
4. IUPUI – 69.5
5. Denver – 65.5
6. Oral Roberts – 64.5
7. Western Illinois – 54.5
8. Omaha – 48.5
9. Fort Wayne – 31.0