College basketball is in a bad place right now.
How does John Calipari think it could be fixed?
During his Tuesday meeting with the media, Calipari gave his pitch for how college hoops can become a better and cleaner sport.
A big part of the issues surrounding the sport are agents meeting with players or representatives of said player. There have even been reports of money exchanging hands, something the NCAA is strongly against, but Calipari thinks there can be a middle ground of sorts.
Calipari proposed allowing the NBA Players Association to manage relations between players and agents.
“I say that we need to work with the Players Association, who oversee the agents, and figure out what do they think the solution is,” said Calipari. “I think baseball and hockey is a little different than what we deal with, but these kids deserve advisors, because they’re moving through this process.
“But the way it’s done now, it’s an issue.”
While Calipari isn’t advocating for players to be paid by agents, he does think it’s okay for loans to be made.
“The Players Association should loan these kids money,” said Calipari. “Let them take a loan. Let their family get a loan from the Players Association. What’s the problem? For travel to games and the NCAA Tournament, it’s out. Why?
“Well, the kid at this school can’t get it. Well, guess what? This isn’t communism. You can’t get a home loan. Guess what, you can’t get it? I don’t know what to tell you. I demand it because he got a home loan.
“I’m sorry, that’s not how it works in this country. Kids that have pro potential and want to take a loan so their families don’t have to deal with that, why can’t you?”
But most importantly, it’s time for the players to make money off of their likeness.
“I think these kids should be able to use their likeness, make money from their signatures,” said Calipari. “It’s their name and likeness, not ours. It’s theirs. They should be able to make money.”
Calipari nailed it with this pitch. Still, I doubt the NCAA lets this come to pass, but then again, as bad of a spot as the sport is in right now, perhaps these desperate times will finally lead to some desperate measures being taken.