In a speech at a fundraiser at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama yesterday, John Calipari praised former UK Director of Basketball Operations Martin Newton, who now helms the Bulldogs’ athletic department. Cal’s appearance at the fundraiser raised over $100,000 for the athletic department, who recently hired former UK player Scott Padgett as an assistant coach. Kentucky will play Samford in two years, in either Samford’s home arena, the Pete Hanna Center, or the larger BJCC Arena, which would seat a larger crowd and increase ticket revenue.
Calipari also took the opportunity to open up about his feelings about NCAA President Mark Emmert and the much maligned one-and-done rule, to which he is so often attached. From The Birmingham News:
“The NCAA president said let them go right out of high school? What?” Calipari said. “How many ninth graders will think, ‘I’m going right to the NBA?’ Five hundred? One thousand? Now those kids will be really focused on academics. How could you make that statement?
Calipari said the NCAA could pay the injury insurance for 30 eligible players each year rather than have them take out $15,000 individual loans. And he said the NBA could pay more to rookies who graduate from college.
“How about we encourage them to stay longer because it’s the right thing and it’s the smart thing?” Calipari said. “There’s things we have to do to make it better for those young people.”
This isn’t the first time Cal has spoken out about the NCAA, Emmert, and the one-and-done rule, and it likely won’t be the last. For someone who many claim profits the most from the one-and-done model, Calipari seems adamant in his stance, to the point that he brings the issue up unprovoked.
Your move, Emmert?