Tonight, the Virginia Cavaliers will receive the Capital One Cup at the ESPYs as a marker of the Hoos’ overall athletic success in the 2018-19 season. Former Virginia football star and NFL legend Chris Long will present the award to Lars Tiffany, Ryan Conrad, and Dave Smith of the lacrosse team.
This is the second time in five years that the Cavaliers have taken the top spot on the men’s side as 2014-15 saw Virginia win NCAA titles in soccer, tennis, and baseball. Long was the presenter that year, too.
“I guess I’m ‘the guy’,” Long said with a laugh in an interview with Streaking the Lawn. “I was just talking about either the rolodex isn’t that deep for UVA athletes — which is not true — or I didn’t screw it up the first time and they like working with me.”
Both Virginia athletic director Carla Williams and Long recognize that the Capital One Cup win signifies a tangible marker of the Cavaliers’ continuing to move in the right direction.
“We are proud to win the Capital One Cup trophy for the second time in five years,” said Williams. “This honor is representative of the hard work of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, donors and fans, and is a proud moment for our University. We had a fantastic athletics season, highlighted by a pair of NCAA championships.” We look forward to ensuring our sports programs are a source of great pride for the University, the community and the Commonwealth as week embark on our Master Plan. On behalf of the University of Virginia, we would like to thank Capital One for its enduring commitment to college athletics.”
“It’s exciting. In my time as a Virginia fan slash Virginia athlete, this is the best situation we’ve been in. A lot of it has to do with maintaining that continuity in the Olympic sports and allowing the ‘Big Two’ [football and basketball] or whatever you want to call them, to catch up,” Long stated. “Craig [Littlepage, former Athletic Director] did such an awesome job for so long and left the program in a great place...and I think she’s [Carla Williams] is going to take us to heights that we’ve never been.”
Virginia finished with 127 points on the men’s side, well ahead of second-place Stanford (88 points) and third-place Texas Tech (79 points). National Championships in men’s basketball (the program’s first), and men’s lacrosse (the program’s sixth) buoyed the Virginia win. Tennis and swimming and diving chipped in to the winning effort.
“This was another great year for college sports in which we saw a great come back story from UVA’s men’s basketball team and continued success of Stanford’s women’s athletics program catapulting them to the top of the Capital One Cup Standings” Byron Daub, VP, brand sponsorships and experiential marketing said in a press release about the results. “Capital One is proud to support both men’s and women’s athletics with this program and to contribute to the success of student-athletes on and off the field.”
As a result of the win, Virginia will receive another trophy for the collection and $200,000 to go towards scholarships. “Giving $200,000 in scholarships to the program is really elevating the entire depth of the program, which is something people on the surface would know without the Capital One Cup: how awesome of a program we have,” Long said. “Now, with basketball ascending to the heights it has, it’s really obvious how successful we are...but thanks to Capital One, you’re able to elevate all the efforts of these Olympic sports...”
The Virginia Men’s Basketball team also has a chance to take home an ESPY in the “Best Team” category, competing against the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Toronto Raptors, US Women’s National Team, Clemson Football, and Baylor Women’s Basketball. Comedian Tracy Morgan (SNL, 30 Rock) is hosting the event.
How To Watch
When: Wednesday, July 10, 8:00pm EST