NCAA Reaffirms Commitment to Academic Integrity
In an unprecedented ruling that is sure to produce a sea-change in intercollegiate athletics for years to come, NCAA officials, coaches, and players acknowledged that college athletic programs have become dangerously large entities that threaten the values and integrity of their institutions.
"Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people," said NCAA president Mark Emmert. "Which is why all NCAA athletic programs are voluntarily returning malignantly profitable sports like football and basketball to their proper status as amateur ventures."
"We were all just kind of sitting around, trying to figure out how to properly punish Penn State for their culture of football reverence and blatant exploitation of a corrupt system to protect an enterprise bloated with big-time money," continued Emmert, "And we were just like, 'You know, this whole issue is really more a sign of an endemic problem throughout collegiate athletics. Who are we to wag our finger at Penn State for protecting a highly profitable venture while the SEC stands to make $300 million dollars in annual television earnings alone?'"
"I mean, amirite guys?" stressed Emmert. "So we just called up the top Division 1 athletic directors, and they were totally on-board with our plan to make sure all colleges and universities placed rigorous academic discipline, study, and success ahead of athletic victory. Because when you really think about it, what's more valuable to these kids, a college degree from Boise State, or a Fiesta Bowl victory?"
Numerous coaches and players eagerly lent their support to the NCAA's ruling.
"It's high time we put the 'student' first in 'student-athlete,'" concurred Nick Saban, head coach of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team, for approximately the 679,506th time in his life. "You know, just because I make ten times more per year than my school's chancellor does not mean I am any less committed to ensuring that this institution focuses on the academic priorities of our students."
According to Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, "The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has always been a bastion of higher education and scholarly pursuits. I want my players to focus on their mental finesse much more than their physical prowess. And if [starting quarterback Taylor Martinez] just isn't quite in form for kickoff against academic powerhouse Southern Miss because he spent too much time this summer reading Russian Literature and Margaret Atwood poetry instead of working out in the weight room, then I know I have succeeded, not just as a coach, but as a leader of young men."
Players have responded favorably to Emmert's ruling as well.
Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, for example, has already announced his desire to temporarily retire from professional football in order to complete his degree from Auburn University. "Not a day goes by," admitted Newton, "That I don't regret forgoing my senior year of college and instead signing a four-year contract worth a guaranteed $22 million dollars. Sure, that's a lot of money, but just think about how happy I would be right now if I had cared less about a frivolous playground game and instead focused more intently on my Sociology major!"
Power forward Anthony Davis Jr., meanwhile, has turned down the New Orleans Hornets, who drafted him number one in the draft, so that he can pursue his more cerebral interests than defending the low post. "If there's one thing coach John Calipari taught me at Kentucky, it's that winning isn't everything," said Davis. "Calipari was always great and easy-going, insisting that there is a life beyond basketball and that we should pursue whatever interests us.
"I mean, holy shit, I'm only 19! I've got my whole world ahead of me," mused Davis. "I don't need to pigeon-hole myself into the world of professional basketball. I think I'd really like to try other things, like maybe Teach for America or the Peace Corps. Or maybe backpacking through Europe before I start working on a doctoral thesis. Really get out and see the world, you know? Sports are only temporary, but your mind, your mind is for life."
The effects of this paradigm shift in intercollegiate sports at the highest level are sure to have a deep and profound impact on college athletic programs as we know them. Analyst Lee Corso has already predicted that this will spark an unprecedented string of BCS bowl victories for schools like Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Stanford, while Jay Bilas is already beside himself looking forward to the rise of the Pomona Sagehends, Macalester Macs, and the Rhode Island School of Design Balls, who are sure to put together dynastic basketball programs thanks to their nationally respected culture of higher education.