MCLEAN, Virginia -- Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) today announced the launch of the Capital One Cup, a prestigious new program rewarding NCAA Division I athletics programs for their cumulative on-field performance across multiple men's and women's sports.
Starting with the 2010-11 academic year, NCAA Division I men's and women's athletics programs will compete for the Capital One Cup and $200,000 to fund graduate-level scholarships for student-athletes. The Capital One Cup will be served by an advisory board of prominent former NCAA student-athletes and current broadcasters, including Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie, women's soccer legend Brandi Chastain, former NCAA basketball player of the year Lisa Leslie, former NCAA baseball player Robin Ventura, and broadcasters Rece Davis and Clark Kellogg.
"The Capital One Cup was created to extend our support of college sports, its student-athletes and its fans by recognizing on-field supremacy at the highest level," said Capital One Chief Marketing Officer, Bill McDonald. "This annual new program represents a year-long quest to claim the ultimate bragging rights in collegiate sports."
In the annual race for the Capital One Cup, schools will earn points based on their teams' top 10 finishes in NCAA Division I championships and in final official coaches' polls in 13 men's and 13 women's sports throughout the year.
"The creation of the Capital One Cup is an excellent way to highlight the outstanding accomplishments of NCAA student-athletes," said Greg Shaheen, NCAA interim executive vice president of championships and business strategies.
"As student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom, the Capital One Cup will be another measure of success for teams who perform at the highest level competitively. We're proud to work with Capital One as it bestows this athletics honor and supports the values of higher education with the scholarship donation."
The official Capital One Cup standings will be released at the end of the fall, winter and spring athletics seasons. In July, the two athletics programs with the highest aggregated point totals across the represented men's and women's sports will be announced as the Capital One Cup winners. Each school will be presented with the Capital One Cup Trophy and a scholarship donation from Capital One in the amount of $200,000.
The Capital One Cup Advisory Board members embody success, integrity, leadership and a commitment to excellence. In their role, they will educate the sports community and fans about the program and help promote the positive values of college athletics. The Capital One Cup Advisory Board members are:
Doug Flutie – 1984 Heisman Trophy Winner, football (Boston College)
Brandi Chastain – Two Women's College Cup® Quarterfinals appearances, women's soccer (Santa Clara)
Lisa Leslie – 1994 NCAA National Player of the Year, women's basketball (USC)
Robin Ventura – 1988 Golden Spikes Award winner, baseball (Oklahoma State)
Clark Kellogg – CBS Sports' lead college basketball analyst and 1982 Big Ten MVP (Ohio State)
Rece Davis – ESPN college sports commentator (University of Alabama)