There was a thread discussing these issues last week and I posted the following. Coach Wise is correct: if the coaches don't change the system fast it WILL be changed for us by administrators and anonymous NCAA types.......
The divide among coaches when it comes to team-scored track meets is often between either distance coaches and sprint/field coaches OR small schools and Power5 schools.
Distance coaches will point to lost training time and over-racing as reasons not to have these weekly scored meets. Sprint/field coaches often counter that argument by saying the fans/AD's want to see people racing for place with points on the line regardless of the performances.
Most Power5 schools now want team championships, while smaller programs do not because it will squeeze their athletes out of the NCAA's.
1) Create 2 "divisions" just like football. Your 10 FBS conferences and your 20+ FCS/non-football conferences.
For the "FBS" schools.......
2) Remove long distances from the current indoor/outdoor season and move towards scored formats with events of 1mile and below, plus field events. The long distance runners compete in fall XC and have a separate spring season consisting of distance carnivals (steeple through 10k), road races, and/or XC races. I bet most AD's would rather have a road racing team than a triathlon team (current "emerging sport" that costs $$$).
3) XC/LDR receives its own scholarships (5-6 scholarships is currently being debated by USTFCCCA). Track/Field receives its own scholarships In an ideal world, track and field would go from 12/18 to 16/24 and all scholarships would become head count (ie, full ride only).
4) Track and field imposes a roster limit. Somewhere around 35 to 40. This will help create parity among programs, particularly if head count scholarships are used.
5) Men's and women's programs, coaching staffs and competitions are separated.
6) Eliminate some events: Hammer, Triple jump, Javelin, 400H all up for consideration . Maybe add another relay (4x8?, SMR? DMR?)
7) Each school participates in 4 intra-conference quad meets throughout the season. 2 athletes per team per event. 8 athletes per event so no prelims, straight finals in all events. These are meets scheduled by and through the conference to essentially create round-robin standings. For example, on March 15, April 1, April 15 and April 30 the Pac12 will have 3 quad meets per day. Results yield top 8 teams to go on to conference championship where there will be 16 athletes per event, allowing for prelims and finals. Certain invitationals and meets like Penn/Drake can be protected weekends if conferences choose to do that.
8) NCAA selection could be by either by comittee or qualifying through the conference championships. Perhaps top 2 teams from Power5 conferences and top 1 team from Group of 5 qualify, plus 1 at-large. 16 teams compete in four seeded quads, with winners going on to finals.
With this scenario (single gender meets, events 1mi and shorter, quad meet scoring), you could run a meet in 90min with scored results and constant action. Distance coaches/athletes are happy because they have their team scored sport in the fall and individual sport in the spring. Sprint/field atletes/coaches are happy because they don't have to worry about distance. The only folks caught in the middle are the milers b/c some of them will want to run XC but can't.