LOS ANGELES, CA - University of Southern California men's basketball coach Tim Floyd announced today that he has obtained an oral commitment from a zygote to attend USC under a full basketball scholarship after completing high school.
The news comes less than a week after Floyd made a similar offer to 14 year-old Ryan Boatwright of Aurora, Illinois, and has exacerbated protests from critics who claim Floyd and other college-level athletic programs have crossed a line by recruiting younger and younger players for their teams.
The zygote, the result of the fertilization of an ovum belonging to Dorothy Wilshire of Tell City, Indiana, by a spermatozoon belonging to Reggie Wilshire, Dorothy's husband, is the youngest recipient yet of such a scholarship, having formed only twelve hours ago. Though it has yet to undergo mitosis, when reached for comment the zygote was enthusiastic about its eventual place on the USC team.
"Playing for USC has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember," the Wilshire zygote said in a statement released by its publicist, adding, "The Trojans have always been my favorite team, so to play for Coach Floyd, or whoever the coach is by the time I get there, will be a real privilege."
Former NBA star and studio analyst for TNT, Charles Barkley, was more critical. "I thought the Boatwright deal was bad enough, signing a kid who hasn't even figured out where he's going to high school yet," Barkley said earlier during a telephone interview. "But this child hasn't even figured out where it's going to implant itself in the wall of its mother's uterus! It's ridiculous!" Barkley added, "Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with this country?"
Another factor that calls Coach Floyd's recruitment of the Wilshire zygote into question is the possible sex of the eventual fetus. Currently in the earliest stage of human development, the zygote has yet to manifest either gender; if the Wilshire zygote develops into a female fetus, her chances of playing for the USC men's basketball team will be slim.
When confronted with these criticisms at a press conference to announce the Wilshire signing this morning, Floyd was unfazed. "As the coach of the Trojans men's basketball team, it's my job to find the best players in the country and get them on my team. The sperm that fertilized the ovum of Mrs. Wilshire was stronger, faster, more determined than the millions of other sperm swimming through the fallopian tube after Mr. Wilshire's ejaculation. To me, that's someone I want playing on my team."
Asked why he offered the Wilshire zygote a scholarship before its gender was known, Floyd responded, "Well, I had a 50/50 shot. If it turns out to be a girl, she can take the scholarship and play for women's team. I'm sure they could use the help, they haven't won shit in like twenty years."
With its college basketball career nearly 19 years away, the Wilshire zygote is taking things one step at a time. Asked about its immediate plans, the zygote seemed excited about developing into a blastocyst. And after that? "One word," the zygote said: "Gastrulation!"