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Thursday Headlines: John Calipari on improving NIL and being “Kentucky Good”

The UK coach wants to see more transparency in the NIL world. He’s also hopeful this year’s team gets the program back to a special level.

NCAA Basketball: 2024 SEC Basketball Tipoff Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The world of college sports has changed significantly since the beginning of NIL, and regardless of opinion, it’s here to stay.

But some reforms are possible and possibly needed.

That’s what John Calipari spoke about during SEC Media Days when asked about the topic.

Calipari, typically vocal on issues facing college athletics, called for more transparency among athletic programs in regard to NIL by making data public. The idea of a public database has been mentioned as a needed reform, with concerns that misinformation has been spread about what players at a particular school are making.

“My suggestion has just been to make it transparent,” he said. “So, every school has to say what their kids are doing – not by name – but by number. Do whatever you want to do collectively. Here’s what we’re doing. That way, we all know the truth about what’s going on.”

Many would probably agree that a database providing more transparency into what players are making would probably be a good thing.

Calipari said NIL is a conversation in practically every recruitment, and he’s upfront with prospects about his view.

“I tell every kid we’re recruiting, if it’s about NIL more than basketball, you shouldn’t come here. The big picture of where you’re trying to take yourself is basketball. That’s what should be the overriding factor. Even though you’ll do better here than any other place you can go, it’s not why you come here.”

There will likely be some reforms in the NIL world in the near future. What those look like remains to be seen, but I imagine transparency, as Calipari mentioned, will be a key focal point.

Another key point from Calipari’s appearance at SEC Media Days was getting his program back to the standard he set over his first six years in Lexington, which included a national championship and three other trips to the Final Four.

Calipari admitted Kentucky hasn’t been that recently, but the hope is this year’s team will get the program back to that level.

“The last couple of years, we’ve been good but just not Kentucky good. We’re expected to be in the Final Four every single year. We started slow last year. We could have folded, but we had guys that toughed it out, and by the end of the year, we’re in the tournament, maybe we could have advanced another round or two, but we didn’t.”

With the No. 1 recruiting class coming in to pair alongside impact veterans like Antonio Reeves and Tre Mitchell, there’s certainly potential for this year’s Kentucky team to make a deep postseason run.

Tweet of the Day

Sounds like Cal likes his team.


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