The NCAA Track And Field Championships Should Not Be Scored This Way

Every year, the NCAA crowns its track and field team champion based on which school scores the most points at the NCAA track and field championship meet. This system is poorly formulated and should be changed. Here's why:

1) No one qualifies for NCAAs as a track team. They qualify as individuals. Thus, this meet should be for individual titles only, not team titles.

2) Rarely do deep, broad-based teams succeed in this system. Let's take a look at the top four men's teams at last year's indoor championships.

1ST PLACE: OREGON

7 Scoring Events
(41% of the 17 events)
9 Scoring Athletes: Devon Allen (60H), Edward Cheserek (3k/5k/DMR), Grant Grosvenor (DMR), Blake Haney (Mile), Matthew Maton (DMR), Nate Moore (TJ), Sam Prakel (Mile), Greg Skipper (WT), and Ben Thiel (DMR)

2ND PLACE: ARKANSAS

5 Scoring Events (29% of the 17 events)
5 Scoring Athletes: Kenzo Cotton (60/200), Jarrion Lawson (60/LJ), Carlton Orange (800), Clive Pullen (TJ), and Andres Trajkovski (LJ)

3RD PLACE: TENNESSEE

5 Scoring Events (29% of the 17 events)
5 Scoring Athletes: Cameron Brown (WT), Antonio Carter (4x4), Ari Cogdell (4x4), Christian Coleman (60/200/4x4), and Nathan Strother (400)

4TH PLACE: LSU

3 Scoring Events (17% of the 17 events)
5 Scoring Athletes: Lamar Bruton (4x4), Micheal Cherry (400/4x4), Fitzroy Dunkley (400/4x4), Cyril Grayson (4x4), Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (200)

Notice how none of the top four teams have full squads across all of the events--or score in even half of the events. A team champion should not be crowned based on the school's all-star individuals. Consider this, the Akron men's track team was the 20th best in the nation, because it finished 20th overall at the NCAA championships with 10 team points. Those 10 points were scored from one 800m runner (Clayton Murphy) winning one event. One 800m runner is NOT a team and should not be in the running for team titles.

If we want to crown a true team champion the right way, we must have a separate team championship meet.

Proposed Solution:


Weekend 1 March 3-4: Hold the DI NCAA Indoor Track and Field Team Championships (Top eight teams only)
Weekend 2 March 10-11: Hold the DI NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships (Current system without the team scoring)

How To Pick The Top 8 Teams:

At the end of the regular season, teams will submit a roster to the NCAA.

Team Championship Roster Guidelines:
- One athlete per event (This forces teams to not rely on one discipline)
- One relay team per relay event
- An athlete can only compete in a maximum of two individual running events (This forces teams to not rely on one superstar)
- An athlete can only compete in a maximum of two field events (This forces teams to not rely on one superstar)

The teams' rosters are submitted with each athlete's qualifying mark based on his or her season's personal best. Once all the rosters are submitted, descending order lists will be created for each event. The eight lowest "total ranks" schools will then qualify for the NCAA team championship meet.

This system will ensure we select the eight best teams with strong athletes across all events. No team will be able to stack one event, and it will create an exciting championship meet in which every event is a final and treated equally.

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