I have had a hard time rationalizing why an institution like Duke isn't fielding a top 20 team every single year. Lets go over some points:
1. Duke is a university that HIGHLY values not only academic success, but also athletic success. If you don't believe me just look up the ratio of athletes compared to normal students. It's very high, therefore, Duke lets a lot of athletes into the school who otherwise would not be there. There is also a ton of support for student athletes at Duke along with a top 10 institutional ranking, which in theory, should attract very good recruits (i.e. Wesley Frazier).
2. The training facilities for the runners are amazing. They have an ENTIRE forest (right on campus) filled with a trail system of soft surface along with other excellent training venues not far away from campus. Word is they even are getting a brand new track facility. Thus, facilities are excellent.
Duke athletics breath excellence and the distance program should be nothing short of excellent. Scholarships or not, if you can't foster a culture on your team that values success over social status then you, as a coach, are doing something wrong. For example, I can't imagine kids at a school like Stanford don't experience the same sort of academic and social pressures as kids at Duke, yet Stanford is light years ahead of Duke as a distance program. It's a shame.