2 elephants in the room
1)The power 5 football programs. They are minor league football provided for free to the NFL. Zero reason this should be an NCAA sport. They are already talking about paying players. How does this impact Brown? Because the power 5 football conference dictate policy at the NCAA and control the board room there, which impacts Title XI and perception of AD around the country. Until the power 5 conference school create their own division to control TV reviews, the NCAA will push for football and not XC/Track.
2) There are 347 D1 programs in NCAA. 30 make nationals as a team, and maybe 50-100 routinely compete for team or individual slots. If you aren't competing to qualify for the NCAA championships, why should be a varsity NCAA sport? Why not be a club sport? Couldn't Brown Track Club be a running club for people aged 18-80? Students, professors, staff, etc? They talk about health/well being, why not just let them compete at so many of BU mini-meets indoor, or Franklin Park XC meets? Club sports could grow tremendously without NCAA oversight.
3) Who is more successful right now, Ultimate Frisbee or Cross Country. Frisbee doesn't use the NCAA and does it need to? Do most XC programs really need to be Varsity sports? Lots of cuts to Soccer right now for some similar reasons. Youth and club teams dominate the picture in this sport, why play for your college or high school team? Will XC go that way too? I think COVID will push that more as HS close and prevent sports. Just look at track time trials, NXN, footlocker etc.
Those are the real questions this sport needs to ask itself.