In Defense of Free Trade….

Let’s be honest.

We knew it was coming. 

Yesterday the NCAA announced that on July 15, 2022, it will grant all colleges and universities in the United States the right to trade varsity athletes from one school to another.

That’s right:  A running back who plays for Purdue in 2021 might end up starting for Syracuse in the 2022 season, due to his being exchanged for a defensive end and a placekicker from the latter institution.

NCAA Commissioner Mark Emmert beamed as he briefed reporters:  “With this action, college sports finally enters the 21st century.  The facade of amateurism that we have been winking at for decades can finally be toppled, so we can get down to the real business of higher education: serving as an efficient delivery mechanism for March Madness and postseason football — except in the Ivy League, of course, where they’re preoccupied with restocking the ruling class.  More power to ’em, by the way.  Damn, I’m happier than a horny cocker spaniel that just tumbled into a prairie-dog brothel on the shoulder of a lonely Montana highway on a cold winter’s night!”

Trades will only be permitted during the Drop/Add period at the beginning of each semester, when students are traditionally able to switch courses.  (“We’re working hard to honor long-standing scheduling policies at colleges across the country.”)

In addition, a school can only trade an athlete to a college or university that offers the same major that the student had at the institution where he or she initially enrolled.  (“Not a problem,” promises Emmert.  “Nearly 92% of all varsity athletes major in E-Sports, General Studies, or Branding.”)

On the other hand, schools will be allowed to engage in “cross-trading,” a major NCAA innovation in the sports world.  For example, a football player from one college might be traded for a basketball player from another school.  

“We’re so dang proud to have come up with this,” says the Commissioner. Let’s say your starting quarterback has just been sidelined for the season by a nasty case of gonorrhea, while the All-American point guard on the women’s basketball team at another school has severely fractured her shooting wrist fending off the amorous advances of the team chaplain.  You could exchange a point guard from your school for the starting quarterback at theirs.  A win-win.  Is that cool or what?”

Yes, it certainly is.  It’s very, VERY cool.