John Calipari, who has spoken out against the graduate transfer rule in the past, addressed a new rule change in the SEC Teleconference on Monday.
Some have called Calipari a hypocrite for his previous criticism since he has taken Reid Travis and Nate Sestina, both graduate transfers, in consecutive seasons. However, he has been clear from the start that his beef was with the fact that mid-majors were often handicapped by losing their best players every season due to the rule.
This new rule that the NCAA is proposing could essentially do that exact same thing to virtually every program, even those in power conferences. The new proposed rule is that any player can transfer one time with no penalty and be immediately eligible.
“I’ve coached at all different levels. If they go with it, which I hear they are, it doesn’t hurt Kentucky. It helps us,” he stated.
Calipari has been a top recruiter in college basketball for many years, and essentially this would give him the opportunity to poach some of the best players that are already in college.
“We’re going to have all kinds of calls,” Calipari said. “Kids wanting to join our program, [saying] ‘I had a great year, I can help your program, can you help me? You help kids, do this.’”
Calipari does worry about the impact on smaller programs. But the bigger concern at this point is the potential for tampering between programs.
“Do we have coaches tampering with other programs?” Calipari asked. “Now it becomes, if you don’t have harsh penalties, if your program is found tampering, how will they ever check?”
Welcome to the wild west of college athletics.