Watching the NCAA basketball tournaments on ESPN3 I was peppered with ads for the Capital One Cup, an award that claims to recognize success at the highest level.
The award of course is a joke because (1) it only recognizes the 13 "pure D-I" championships for both genders, and none of the 10 National Collegiate championships -- of which women's ice hockey is one. (2) it awards more points for certain privileged sports than others, based on "fan interest, school participation, and other factors." Men's hockey is a Tier III sport in their system.
I heard of this award in September and tried to ignore it, but with all this advertising and seeing that it'll be handed out at the ESPYs and ESPN has created a web page promoting the pure D-I sports and not others, I got fed up last night and initiated the following conversation on the Capital One Cup facebook page.
Me: Why does the Capital One Cup choose to ignore the 10 National Collegiate Championships in which D-I members participate? These championships are not inferior to purely D-I championships -- their national collegiate status only reflects that there are insufficient numbers in D-II or D-III to establish divisional championships. Almost all of these championships are in Olympic sports.Cap1Cup: Thank you for posting your feedback. What we feel distinguishes the Capital One Cup as the premier award for program-wide athletic success at the highest level is the inclusion of sports with official NCAA Division I Championships. As a result, there are 13 men’s and 13 women’s sports that earn points toward the Capital One Cup. That being said, we certainly recognize and appreciate the popularity and importance of all NCAA sports and the commitment of the student-athletes competing in them and fans who follow them.In my mind, clearly their motive was to (1) distinguish themselves from the Director's Cup which does recognize the NC championships and (2) make sure Stanford didn't win every year.Me: I understand the Capital One Cup believes Division I championships are higher level than National Collegiate Championships, but why? Division I athletes compete (and predominate) in all 10 National Collegiate Championships. How does the eligibility of Division II and Division III programs in National Collegiate Championships diminish the accomplishments of Division I athletes in these championships? Your award cannot seriously claim to recognize success at the highest level in NCAA sports when it fails to recognize the accomplishments of Division I athletes competing in women's ice hockey, men's and women's gymnastics, fencing, men's and women's water polo, bowling, men's volleyball, rifle, and skiing.
Moreover, I'm certain whoever in the NCAA created the distinction between National Collegiate and Division I championships would be horrified to find that a corporation has used that distinction to rationalize the view that National Collegiate Championships are lower-level than pure Division I championships. In the NCAA's own accounting of championship history, Division I and National Collegiate Championships are counted together without the slightest hint of difference in prestige between the two: https://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/champs...s/combined.pdf