News & ToursJuly 7, 2009

NCAA D-I men's committee sticks with status quo


That was the best way to describe the proceedings during the NCAA men's Division I golf committee's recent summer meeting.

Of course, considering all the heavy lifting the committee has done when it has gotten together at this time the past few years--doing away with regional allocations in the post-season, establishing the ".500 rule" for NCAA-regional eligibility, changing the format of the NCAA Championship to use match play to determine the winning team--two lazy days in Indianapolis wasn't the worst thing to have occurred.

That's also not to say there wasn't a fair amount of discussion and debate that took place. Members of the committee, chaired by Charlotte senior associate athletic director Darin Spease used the time to review some of its recent changes as well as try to get a handle on some coming issues.

  • While the professional tours having agreed to implement the USGA's condition of competition regarding changes to grooves in 2010, the NCAA golf committee decided to follow the timeline the USGA is using for its amateur competitions, where the change would go into effect in 2014.

  • The committee was pleased with the success of the new match-play format as it made its debut at the 2009 championship. While there was talk about potentially adding more teams into the match-play portion of the event, the committee decided to keep the number at eight. The thought being that it was a manageable number of schools advancing and a small enough number that it established a prestige factor for those teams that did qualify.

  • The committee talked about some minor tweaks with the match-play competition, among them allowing coaches to set their line-ups in rather than have the Golfstat rankings determine match-ups. No change was agreed to--some committee members want to make sure that the top players on each team were guaranteed to play each other--although they left room for more discussion about the matter to take place when coaches convene for their annual "Town Hall Meeting" during the U.S. Junior Amateur in two weeks.

Also to be discussed at the Town Hall meeting is how to handle the third round of stroke play at the NCAA Championship. Currently, the leading teams after 36 holes play in the morning wave, creating potentially an anti-climatic environment in the afternoon when the remaining schools in the 30-team field are finishing their final round. The simplest solution would be to reverse the order and have the leading teams play in the afternoon, although there is a group of coaches that would prefer to have the morning times for the leading teams as it typically allows them to play the course in the best conditions.

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