NCAA Overhauls System

The Long Road to Here by Ernest Sittenfeld

In a startling development, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced today that henceforth new rules will apply to the management of student athletes in the four major sports, baseball, basketball, football and hockey. The rules will also partially apply to the minor sports, e.g. tennis, swimming, track & field.

The new policies will be published by Christmas, but a spokesperson who insisted on anonymity, disclosed the major features of the policy today.

Athletes recruited from high schools will be required to sign a lifetime service contract with the NCAA. Under this contract the athlete will be bound to the NCAA for his or her full active life in organized sports. Professional teams will no longer be able to draft athletes. They will have to purchase the services of these athletes from the NCAA or the respective college or university. After graduation from college, the athlete will receive a portion of the “salary” paid by the professional team, probably 30%. The NCAA will provide full insurance coverage during the athlete’s service in school or in a professional league. In the event of a life threatening or career threatening injury, the athlete’s contract will be automatically terminated.

An additional feature of the new system will be the ability of colleges to trade their athletes. Thus, if, say, the University of Michigan requires a highly skilled cornerback for their football team, and the University of Pennsylvania requires a tall and strong power forward for their basketball team, they could make a trade, just as the professional teams do now, and trades could even be three way or four way trades, or if a college is particularly rich in athletes but poor otherwise, it could sell its athletes for cash and/or the proverbial “player to be named later”, just like the pros.

The NCAA spokesperson said, “These rules will finally bring stability to the universities’ sports programs, will help the student athletes enjoy their college careers and not have to share their earnings with those greedy sports agents. In addition, there will be no more strikes or lockouts, since the services of the athletes will be essentially outsourced. It works for American Express. It will work better for the colleges”.

An executive of the National Football league, speaking on condition of anonymity, said “Those poor kids will be slaves forever, but the NCAA is all powerful and we can’t fight them. The colleges have finally figured out how to eliminate the draft and turn it to their advantage”.

We have learned that a further revision of student athletics is being designed by the NCAA. We expect to provide full details in our next issue.

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