New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

‘Symbolic and celebratory’: NYU places No. 1 in D-III winter standings

Following a rather successful winter season, the university is now at the top of the 269 Division III programs across the country.
Manasa Gudavalli
NYU woman’s basketball team celebrated their historic win at the University Senate meeting on March 28. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

NYU Athletics is looking down upon the best NCAA Division III programs in the country, now sitting atop the Learfield Directors’ Cup winter standings. The university, after “a wonderfully winning winter season,” is ranked No. 1 out of more than 260 schools for the first time in its history, accumulating a national-high score of 480.5 total points for the winter season. 

“Capturing this special moment in time for NYU Athletics by ranking atop the Learfield ratings is so symbolic and celebratory,” Janice Quinn, NYU’s senior associate athletic director, told WSN. “It is certainly the result of very hard work and a commitment to excellence by so many coaches, administrators and staff within the department of athletics, and I couldn’t be more proud of the student-athletes.”

Having ranked sixth after the fall 2023 season, the Violets now reign over schools like Johns Hopkins University, Williams College, Emory University and Washington University in the top five. 

The NYU women’s basketball team gifted President Linda Mills a piece of their winning basketball net. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

NYU’s rise can in part be attributed to the women’s basketball team’s historic win last month, where it took home the NCAA D-III championship undefeated. The Violets’ 51-41 victory against Smith College marked the second time the university earned the championship title in its history. 

Junior guard and women’s basketball captain Belle Pellecchia noted the absence of an athletics director amid the team’s success. Just last semester, NYU broke ties with former athletics director Stuart Robinson following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against him. The university has yet to hire a replacement for Robinson, although Senior Vice President for University Life Jason Pina is filling the position in an interim capacity.

“What the student-athletes at NYU are able to accomplish without an AD and without home fields and or courts for the majority of our student-athletes is a testament to our passion for our given sport and the hard work we demonstrate on a daily basis simply because we love our teammates and love our sport,” Pellecchia wrote to WSN.

The Violets have also had other recent successes. Two NYU wrestlers advanced to the semifinals in the NCAA wrestling championship in March. The women’s swim team also placed third in the NCAA championships the same month, with the men’s team finishing fourth out of 44 teams. Both teams saw their highest-ever finish this year.

“Not only should every student-athlete and coach take pride in the current Learfield Cup standings, but our entire athletics and recreation department works tirelessly to create the best atmosphere for our teams to practice and compete,” Pina said in a press release. “I feel privileged to witness our students’ ability to excel academically and athletically while living in New York City.”

Contact Jonathan Mak and Yezen Saadah at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Jonathan Mak
Jonathan Mak, Deputy Sports Editor
Jonathan Mak is a sophomore studying Journalism and Psychology at CAS. His mood depends on the Manchester United results, and he can be found obsessing over his fantasy Premier League team, trying to find authentic Southeast Asian food or watching "How I Met Your Mother." Send fantasy PL tips or invites to pick-up football games to @_jonmak on Instagram and @_jonathanmak_ on X, formerly Twitter.
Yezen Saadah
Yezen Saadah, Editor-in-Chief
Yezen Saadah is a junior studying cinema studies, journalism and Middle Eastern studies. He's a lover of cinema, history, art and literature, and he enjoys writing about pretty much anything. If he isn't in the newsroom or at the movies, he's probably just trying to enjoy his day off. Contact him on Instagram @yezen.saadah or send tips to [email protected]
Manasa Gudavalli
Manasa Gudavalli, Editor-in-Chief
Manasa Gudavalli is a super senior studying a super strange combination of psychology, mathematics, journalism, and chemistry. When they are not editing the Washington Square News, they are probably reading Freud, watching college football, or developing film photos. You can find them on Instagram @manasa.gudavalli and

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