UA moving up the championship list

Yesterday’s women’s track title was the 46th official NCAA team championship in University of Arkansas history (remember that D-I football has never been an official NCAA championship sport and thus doesn’t count, even 1964).

That puts UA in 7th place on the list, one behind our old puke orange friends from Austin. It also solidifies our place as the most national titles in the SEC. LSU has 43 (coincidentally, both Arkansas and LSU have had national titles taken away by the NCAA, two for us, one for them). If we hadn’t gotten dinged for Lance Brauman, we’d be sixth on the list.

Top ten:
Stanford 123 (67 men, 56 women)
UCLA 118 (75 men, 43 women)
USC 107 (85 men, 22 women)
Oklahoma State 52 (52 men, 0 women)
Penn State 51 (27 men, 11 women, 13 co-ed)
Texass 47 (24 men, 23 women)
Arkansas 46 (42 men, 4 women)
North Carolina 44 (13 men, 31 women)
LSU 43 (18 men, 25 women)
California 38 (29 men, 9 women)

Co-ed sports include fencing, rifle and skiing, in case you were wondering.

Florida is tied for 11th with Michigan with 36. Georgia has 31, Tennessee has 16.

You may have observed the absence of either of the schools from the not so great state of Alabummer. Again, FBS football is not an official championship sport so Bama’s 732 self-claimed-MNCs don’t count.

Okie Lite is so high largely because of wrestling, with 34 titles. OSU wrestling is tied with Kenyon College swimming for the most titles by a school in a single sport. Arkansas is 10th on the single-sport list with 20 men’s indoor track titles.

I still consider Arkansas to have won the two track championships the NCAA forced the program to vacate. In any story I write about John McDonnell’s legacy, past championships, etc., I’ll state that Arkansas’ men have won 43 national championships, including two that were later stripped by the NCAA. Just because the NCAA’s kangaroo court forces teams to take down banners, it doesn’t mean everyone else has to whitewash history.

I remember someone asking Bobby Petrino after Ohio State was forced to vacate its 2010 wins whether Arkansas would claim the Sugar Bowl as a victory. “No,” he said. Why? “Because they won.”

John McDonnell’s book sheds a lot of light on the track program’s case with the NCAA. Essentially, Arkansas argued unsuccessfully that the NCAA should recount those championship events and remove points from any event in which Tyson Gay contributed to the team total. In both instances, Arkansas still would have won the championship. But because of a couple of rogues, those teams’ accomplishments cannot be acknowledged by the program.

I don’t understand some of the sports that are included in these lists. Equestrian, fencing, etc. What are there, maybe 10 - 15 teams involved in equestrian? I would think in fairness to all NCAA teams that a sport should have some kind of minimal participation. Perhaps 50% of schools would have to field a team. Otherwise, we could come up with “Dog Fetching” and get a couple of schools to field teams and add to our National Championship list.

Equestrian is not on this list because it is not an official NCAA sport, so any equestrian titles (I think A&M and Auburn have won a couple) are treated the same way as Bama’s football titles. Fencing, however, is an NCAA sport. There are 36 schools with fencing programs, which is more than water polo, men’s volleyball or men’s gymnastics. Stanford and UCLA have won so many NCs because they load up on low-participation sports like water polo and men’s volleyball. The trick, then, would be to get the NCAA to add championships in Dog Fetching. The only new sport I can think of added recently is beach volleyball, which has 54 teams (including LSU and Moo U) but a lot of schools are adding it. It doesn’t require new scholarships; your existing women’s volleyball team just plays beach in the spring. NCAA added it in 2011 for D-I.

By the way, the National Collegiate Equestrian Association lists 17 horsey teams, including four in the SEC and some others in our area (Okie Lite, Baylor, SMU and TCU).

We should be grateful to Stanford and UCLA for fielding teams in what people consider minor sports rather than ridiculing them. They serve as farm system for many gold medals that USA has won in Olympics and World Championships. I wish more schools support those sports.

Correct. Our men’s gymnastics Olympic team is in big trouble because there are very few programs left (15 this year). I used to work with/for a doctor who attended Penn State on a gymnastics scholarship. In his mid-40s, he still had bodybuilder biceps and forearms. Probably pecs too but I never saw him with his shirt off.

The NCAA has a list of emerging sports that may be added as official championships. For women, it’s equestrian (yes), rugby and triathlon. I don’t see any emerging sports for men.