Jennie Finch Talks Capital One Cup at the 2014 ESPYS

Jennie Finch on the Red Carpet talking Capital One Cup at 2014 ESPYS. (Photo Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

Jennie Finch on the Red Carpet talking Capital One Cup at 2014 ESPYS. (Photo Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

The ESPYS are known for awarding elite men and women in their respective sports. Different awards mean different things to different people. This year I was a tearjerk-sucker for Michael Sam receiving the Arthur Ashe Award, as well as Stuart Scott’s acceptance speech for the Jimmy V Award (also known as his finest moment on television, which alone speaks volumes), but another that has stood out for the past three years (since its inception) is the Capital One Cup, which recognizes the best in college sports.

ESPYS, short for Excellent in Sports Performance Yearly Awards, honors the best in sports, and how incredibly special to include athletes who give just as much throughout the year, perhaps on a smaller and without pay scale – NCAA athletes.

Capital One Cup Advisory Board member Jennie Finch was on hand along with the rest of the Advisory Board compiled of former NCAA student-athletes and college broadcasters including Lisa Leslie, Brandi Chastain, Clark Kellogg, Doug Flutie, Barry Larkin and Rece Davis at this year’s ESPYs to honor this year’s Capital One Cup winners.

The Capital One Cup season finally came to an end following the completion of the College World Series and this year’s winners are Notre Dame (98.5 points) for the men and Florida (152 points) for the women. Along with the coveted Capital One Cup trophy they get to hoist up, each school will be awarded a combined $400,000 in student-athlete scholarships.(Last year UNC women’s athletic program and UCLA men’s athletic program won for the first time ever.)

Amazing.

The Cup is awarded annually to the best men’s and women’s Division I college athletics programs in the country. Teams earn points toward the Capital One Cup and are tracked throughout the year based on final standings of NCAA Championships and final official coaches’ polls. Schools earn points in 20 women’s and 19 men’s sports – so everything matters. The Capital One Cup is the embodiment of hard work, dedication, and an enduring commitment to excellence that student-athletes and teams display throughout their yearlong journey.

Knowing firsthand how important awards, scholarships and recognition are in the world of college athletics, The Blonde Side had the chance to sit down and chat with former collegiate All-American and Olympian, Jennie Finch.

“Every year the race for the Capital One Cup is filled with drama, and this season was no exception,” said Jennie Finch, Capital One Cup Advisory Board member, Olympic Gold Medalist and former University of Arizona student-athlete and Women’s College World Series champion. “Seeing the University of Florida climb back into the race with a national co-championship in gymnastics and then surge into the lead with an amazing Women’s College World Series championship run was unbelievable—something every student-athlete at Florida should be proud of. An award like the Capital One Cup speaks volumes because it celebrates student-athletes across so many sports.”

Note from The Blonde Side – everything Finch said above about Florida was the complete truth, however, as a Florida State fan, this hurts my soul to include this. But major congrats to the women of University of Florida.

“Congratulations to the University of Notre Dame men’s athletics program on winning this year’s Capital One Cup,” said Marc Mentry, Senior Vice President at Capital One. “It takes a lot of grit to remain at or close to the top of the standings throughout the entire season and the Fighting Irish showed their resilience all year long. We’re looking forward to honoring Notre Dame at the ESPY Awards next month.”

Which men’s and women’s athletic program do you think will shine this next year? Florida State perhaps?