Each year, State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) member institutions compete throughout the three seasons to earn points with the goal of winning the Dr. Patrick R. Damore Commissioner's Cup. The cup recognizes athletic excellence of member schools through the twenty sports they participate in over the fall, winter and spring. The Commissioner's Cup was originally preceded by the Governor's Cup which was first established in 1965 where it was won by Brockport. However, in 1975 the conference discontinued the Governor's Cup when they decided to put more time and effort into focusing on the intercollegiates and revising the constitution.
A few years later, Dr. Patrick R. Damore, was appointed to be the first official full-time commissioner of the SUNYAC in 1979. In 1997, Dr. Damore decided to reinstate the same kind of award honoring athletic excellence from the schools in the conference. The first Commissioner's Cup (name changed to Dr. Patrick R. Damore Commissioner's Cup in 2012-13) was awarded to Cortland in the 1997 season, which was a common outcome throughout the last twenty-one years. Seeing that Cortland brought home the Commissioner's Cup in all but four seasons in which Geneseo won the award and are currently three-time reigning Commissioner's Cup winners dating back to the 2014-2015 season.
Here's how it works: the point system is determined by the 20 different conference sports throughout the year. A 10-point system is used in each sport, the first-place team gets 10 points, the second-place team gets 9 points and so on. A team's regular-season finish will be added to their post-season finish and divided by two for their final total for that sport. The total number of points that a school accumulates is divided by the number of conference sports it has. This school total determines the overall winner of the Dr. Patrick R. Damore Commissioner's Cup at the end of the school year.