In a move that has stunned a cappella enthusiasts and sports fans alike, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced earlier today that it purchased the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA).
At a press conference, an NCAA spokeswoman said, “This acquisition represents the culmination of two distinct cultural identities growing progressively closer over the years … A cappella has grown much more competitive over time. Add to that a new focus on the physicality of the choreography and the importance of breath control, and there’s really very little difference between the skills performers incorporate in a cappella performance, and those that athletes practice for traditional sport.”
Some report that the world of collegiate a cappella first garnered NCAA attention when Varsity Vocals’ famous tournament first launched under the National Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (NCCA) name. NCAA representatives have watched closely since that time, and it’s reportedly the mainstream success of Straight No Chaser and The Sing-Off that tipped the NCAA’s hand in making this historic purchase.
“A cappella has proven itself as a marketable commodity. The people want to hear it, and we are here to encourage exceptional college students to follow their dreams and compete at the highest level for the nation to see.” Early reports indicate that ESPN is planning to pilot a program of airing selected arch sings later this month, leading up to broadcasts of the ICCA Finals.
“This very exciting for us,” said one Varsity Vocals producer. “We’re talking about divisions so smaller schools are competing at their own level, instead of going head to head to with the big universities. We’re talking about school funding, universities offering scholarships to the best a cappella talent. Heck, in a couple years, I might even get paid for doing this job!”
Not to be left out of the fray, a number of companies that traditionally sponsor college sporting events and merchandise are said to be jumping on the a cappella bandwagon. Nike is leading the fray with a new line of “Just Dooo It” pitch pipes, emblazoned with the Nike Swoosh.
A great deal about the ICCAs’ new ownership has yet to be revealed, but one thing remains certain: today, April 1st, is a day that none of us will soon forget.