Stop the changes to the NCAA Championship

TOLEDO, Ohio – Note to NCAA Division I Golf Committee members: With all due respect, take a five-year vacation. Or maybe 10.

The NCAA Championship isn’t even over yet, and already there is talk of tweaking the new format for 2011 (the next possible championship to impose any changes), possibly going from eight to 16 teams in the match-play portion.

First, I agree with Georgia’s Russell Henley here: “I think they should keep it the same,” Henley said Friday afternoon, after his team lost to Arkansas in the semifinals.

“If you include the top 16 teams, the winner’s score could be 3 under like it was this year and the 16th team could be 40 over (this year, 16th-place South Carolina was 33 over), so if you play that well for nothing. The top 8 narrows it down to the teams that are playing the best. If you do top 16, that’s a lot of golf and I think this is about as much as the mind can almost handle.”

Second, more changes that soon will only make things hokey for me. Not that the committee particularly gives a ratty range ball what I think, but it’s been difficult to take this championship seriously lately.

Arkansas Brad McMakin said if he wins the title today, he wouldn’t care if they made more tweaks. “They could change it back tomorrow,” he said. McMakin also said it wouldn’t take anything away from the honor – which is where it gets fuzzy for me.

I would never say a team didn’t deserve its national championship trophy; if the Razorbacks win, they will have won because they beat everyone else playing in the same championship.

It’s the symbolism and significance of that championship trophy that I’m worried about.

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