Before Kentucky tips-off a four-game exhibition in the Bahamas, John Calipari joined The Paul Finebaum Show to talk about his team. Naturally, the conversation drifted toward other topics, like the changes announced by the NCAA this morning.
Coach Cal has been a vocal proponent of NCAA reform for quite some time. In his mind, today’s action is just the first of many steps.
“Right now, it really doesn’t matter,” he said. “None of these rules are going into effect unless the NBA and Players’ Association come together to do something with the One and Done. If they do that, I’m hearing that won’t be until 2022. So you and I are going to discuss stuff here that we should be discussing in 2021.”
The two biggest rule changes — high school players can sign agents and un-drafted combine attendees can return to college — cannot go into effect until NBA rules are renegotiated when the next collective bargaining agreement expires.
Calipari did have some significant inside information to share. The CEO of USA Basketball, Jim Tooley, is in the Bahamas for the trip. Coach Cal shared Tooley’s take on the announcement, one that Woj reports blindsided the NBA and USA Basketball.
“We don’t want to be the final say in who gets an agent and who doesn’t,” Calipari recalled. “We don’t want to be the only people doing the summer basketball stuff. We’ll collaborate with the NCAA, the NBA, Players’ Association, but don’t put all of this on us.”
Within the wide-reaching rule changes there are many details that could have unintended consequences. Calipari was quick to point out one of them.
“They’re saying a player can go in the draft, and if he’s not drafted, go back to college. So Paul I ask you this, a kid leaves and the scholarship is given away, he wants to go back to school and there’s no scholarship, what do we do? Does he transfer? Does he have to sit out? What?”
Primarily focused on tonight’s game and this year’s team, Coach Cal is not too concerned about the rule changes because there’s plenty of time to correct them before they are completely implemented.
“I think we’re at such the beginning stages and we have three years before this has to be finalized,” said Calipari. “There’s so many things that need to be answered. Thank goodness we have time to do it, but I’m thinking we’re kind of wasting our breath because it’s a ways away from doing all this stuff.”