Coach Cal made like Fake Barney and got the most out of his time on Kentucky Sports Radio this morning, talking in depth with Matt about the 500 wins situation, the prospects of this year’s team and the NBA Draft. It was one part of the conversation though that stood out as Calipari said that he believes there is a way for players to earn a living expense from their schools. Yes, John Calipari has a plan. And Mark Emmert isn’t a part of it.
Here are the key components of the Calipari Plan:
1) Create Four New “Super Conferences” – Because of a a disparity between programs at the top of the financial food chain and those schools that are, as Calipari put it, “barely Division 1”, there would have to be a significant change made to create a more solid financial structure. Under Calipari’s plan, four new “Super Conferences” would have to be created. He proposed a Western Conference, a Northern Conference (comprised of Big 10 schools and others), a Southern Conference (the SEC and others) and an Eastern Conference (ACC-type schools). Each conference would be made up of 16-18 schools featuring both Division 1 basketball and football programs, giving 64-72 total members.
2) Players Will Get Paid – In what probably amounts to the biggest difference from the current structure, Calipari believes that the plan he’s devised will allow for enough additional revenue to pay athletes about three to four thousand dollars a year for their participation. That money would come from television and other corporate sponsorships and all revenue would be shared by the schools. In addition to being able to pay all players, Calipari said that there is even room in the surplus to give $10 million directly to schools for their academic endeavors, “get their Title IX in order” and fund their intramural programs.
3) Everyone Has A Shot At The Basketball Title – Well, everyone who chooses to leave the NCAA and join the four super conferences, that is. Under Calipari’s plan, all 64-72 teams would participate in the post-season tournament, with the seedings created in much the same way that the are now. In fact, there’s really little change in the event outside of fewer mid-major schools and more major conference programs. There would still be conference tournaments to determine a champion as well.
4) The Plan For Football – Though Calipari’s plan is comes rooted heavily with basketball in mind, he also has a plan for the football programs of the 64-72 teams who would choose to leave the NCAA. It’s a pretty simple one. Each division winner would immediately be placed in a Final Four and would have to win two games to be declared the national champion. For the non-division winning teams, the same basic bowl structure would be held. Teams would become bowl eligible, choose where they’d like to play and those games would still fill the calendar leading up to the championship. Not a lot of change. Except the schools make the money.