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John Calipari says he’s supported players’ likeness rights for years

In an appearance on Kentucky Sports Radio this morning, John Calipari said he’s been a longtime supporter of student athletes owning their name and likeness, which the new California Fair Pay to Play Law will allow beginning in 2023, but has reservations about how it will be regulated.

“I’ve said all along that these kids, their name and likeness is theirs. They own it. I’ve said that from day one. For ten years. Can I basically say by myself? Can I say that and be real?”

“Are we talking categories? Are we protecting shoe contracts that benefit all athletes? Are we talking a group — that not only do football players and basketball players but track and swimming and everyone else gets the same money? So we put it in a pool and the swimmers get exactly what the football players get? What are you talking about?”

With several other states introducing similar bills, including Kentucky, Calipari said he believes whatever the NCAA does won’t be enough, and that the matter will ultimately be for Congress to decide.

“Whatever the NCAA does with this — I think where this goes, and you know I read tea leaves — I think it’s going to have to be settled in Congress. And the reason is because whatever the NCAA does will not be enough. Will not be enough. And you have people who are in their 60s and 70s that are involved in this that won’t be in it when it’s instituted. Where are the 40-year-old people and 45-year-old people who are going to be running this and be involved in this? Those people have to sit down and make decisions on where this will all go? My guess is, it goes to Congress because you can’t have every state having something different.”

Yesterday, Mike Krzyzewski released a statement in support of the law at ACC Media Day, calling for the NCAA to change its laws to adapt to changing landscape in the sport. While Calipari did not mention Coach K by name, he did say he finds it interesting how many coaches are just now coming forward in support of the change when he’s been talking about it for years.

“There are things here that are bigger than – you can’t just say, ‘Yeah, I’m for this.’ You can say that if you’re being political and acting like you’re getting ahead of this. But the reality is, what exactly are you talking about, that you’re for? What are you for? ‘Well, I’m for the players.’ Really. What a good man. This is deeper than you’re thinking.”

“How long have I been talking about this stuff? Eight to ten years? So, if everyone else that is now speaking up would speak up with me back then, we probably would have had movement. But because it was me – and I’ve got black hat, I’m the bad guy, ooh, I’m the boogeyman – no one would jump on board. They’d say, ‘I’m exactly against him.’ When I was doing one-year players, you know, we had guys who came out and said, ‘I would never do that?’ There were guys that said, ‘I would never do that.’ And they all do it, okay? This thing moves slow because we move slow. So I’ve been on this for a while.”

Calipari once again said that he is in favor of allowing players to go straight to the NBA from high school, but doesn’t want education to fall by the wayside.

“Here’s what I would say and I’ll say it again, let the kids go out of high school. Influence kids to come back, be educated even if you think you may go and then when the kids do go to college, how do we take better care of them?”

“Now, the nuts and bolts of it, you won’t believe this, I’m coaching a basketball team and I’m not reading all this, what they’re proposing. I’d like to see what the NCAA puts out. My guess is it’ll never stand up. That’s my guess.”

You can hear the entire interview below.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

18 Comments for John Calipari says he’s supported players’ likeness rights for years

  1. Ridge Runner
    12:04 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

    Oh he’s right. He has been for supporting players likeness for years. I would imagine if KSR could search the archives, we would see press release evidence for those that don’t believe it. So yeah… now Kryshisski without looking at specifics… says a general statement matching a political type blurb, and media all over it with headlines.

    Where was this media years ago? We know.

  2. VMI1957
    12:37 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

    What the NCAA does will never stand up because it doesn’t know how to institute something that will be meaningful. They don’t know how to punish cheaters aka: UNC and the academic scandal; UL and the strippers; U Miami and the parties, strippers, cash, Ohio St and the selling of memorabilia; USC and the housing situation. They let all of those institutions slide though they all deserved punishment so how can one expect the NCAA to come up with something meaningful for players compensation for their likeness? I’d be more likely to win multiple lotteries of millions of dollars before the pompous fools and lethargic morons of the NCAA do anything meaningful. The only thing the NCAA has succeeded in doing is line their own pockets and inflate the huge egos they have.

  3. eyebleedblue
    12:47 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

    Easy stance to take.
    Much harder one is to ask him about China and Nike and nba. Anyone at Socialist sports radio gonna ask or naw? Communism is awesome seems to be the New Democrat platform so why are people in Hong Kong fighting it? Why are Nike and NBA scared of China? Or go with easy kids should get paid softball questions

    • StillBP
      2:11 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

      Good grief. Skip your medication today?

    • Cattington
      2:42 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

      What in the hell? I think you took every talking point and just vomited it out.

  4. eyebleedblue
    12:49 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

    I’m sure that comment will get deleted because ksr writers are charmin soft unless they’re virtue signaling something easy.

    • Cattington
      2:51 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

      Help…help…he’s being repressed!

  5. mashburnfan1
    12:49 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

    Cal was also strongly against graduate transfers when a friend of his lost his coaching gig after one of his players transferred and he had a bad season {I’m sure it was not his coaching ability that lost the job}. But now Cal is all for it taking a transfer from another college because he thinks it will help him and to hell with the other school. Facts are every coach will say and do anything if they think it will help them win. Transfer did not help us get a title last year, hope it helps more this year.

    • 4evrUKBlue
      12:56 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

      Look it’s mashbum, the turd in the punchbowl, also a liar, fraud and spin doctor.

    • StillBP
      2:13 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

      Have you ever had an opinion on something and then at another point in life thought differently about that opinion? Ever? No? Well if not, you’re the only person in the world who has never changed how they felt about something. I don’t think that says something good about you.

    • Looother
      4:39 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

      mash makes a valid point…

    • 4evrUKBlue
      5:08 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

      Oh look it’s Looopy, there’s two turds in the punchbowl.

    • Megan
      5:09 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

      To be clear, Cal has always been against taking graduate transfers from mid-major programs, which are more adversely affected. And he doesn’t like when a kid bolts without sitting down with his coach to talk things through.

      So let’s put it in context. He’s never been strongly against all graduate transfers and now is strongly in favor of it if he thinks it will help him. That you putting words into his mouth.

    • 4evrUKBlue
      6:38 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

      That is mashbum’s MO, he takes bits and pieces of truths and mixes them with lies to suit his agenda and he’s not even good at it.

  6. MtnCat
    12:57 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

    Universities will be in control and certain universities will be in control of them. Certain players will get theirs as they are now and others will get an increased stipend. To think your going to build s better mouse trap to solve this issue the most ridiculous presentation possible. The giant rats will laugh and proceed to control the cheese…any solution start will semi pro club sport divorced from educational institutions… if education is involved it the athlete can walk into the admissions door and lay his money down.
    Yes it was like this a hundred years ago and is cycling back to its roots for more reasons than money.

  7. Cattington
    2:48 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

    And, you know…googling the topic brought be to an article from feb. 2018 where Cal said players should be paid…and from oct. 2017…but yeah, he’s never said anything about it.

  8. Megan
    5:00 pm October 9, 2019 Permalink

    No, it won’t be settled by Congress. It’ll be settled by the courts, which will uphold the NCAA’s authority, as they have for decades, including the Supreme Court.