Calipari: players should be able to make money off their likeness
"We need to work with the players' association, who oversees the agents, and figure out what do they think the solution is," Calipari said at a news conference. "These kids deserve advisers as they're moving through this process. But the way it's done right now, it's an issue. There's a lot of things, I think at the end of the day, things will begin to change. The problem with the NCAA, it's slow-moving. This one doesn't need to be slow-moving. It's not going to be perfect for every program."
Calipari suggested that part of the holdup with changing NCAA regulations is that the mid-major and low-major schools might not want the same changes as the power conference schools.
Since the FBI investigation into college basketball recruiting came to light in September, there has been momentum to enact rule changes. Stories released earlier this month by ESPN and Yahoo! Sports detailing how agents at ASM Sports potentially influenced college coaches and high school recruits forced NCAA president Mark Emmert to say this past weekend that changes could be coming.
"We've gotta make sure we don't find ourselves in this box again," Emmert said on CBS on Saturday. "I think in most of the member universities' minds that some of those rules have simply been written for a different age. While there's doubtlessly been agent activity and these kinds of things that we're seeing in the past, I suspect — and most people do — that his has reached a crescendo now because there's so much attention on it now, there's so many resources involved.
"We're really serious about it. I and the board of directions are very, very serious about making really systemic change starting this spring and going forward through the summer."
In addition to suggesting that players be allowed to have advisers during the recruiting process, Calipari said college players should be able to make money from their likenesses and signatures.
"It's their name and likeness. It's not ours, it's theirs. They should be able to make money," he said. "Maybe the school manages it, maybe the money goes to their parents for travel. And maybe there's a limit on what they can do, and the rest they get when they leave here. It's all stuff that can be done easily.
Another idea was that players should be able to accept loans from the NBPA.
"Let them take a loan. Let their family get a loan from the players' association," Calipari said. "What's the problem? For travel to games and the NCAA tournaments. 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 our country. So kids that have pro potential and want to take a loan so that their families don't have to deal with it, why can't you? But I've been saying this for six years."
According to Calipari, the most important thing moving forward is to make changes for the betterment of the players — not the betterment of the entire NCAA.
"If we stay focused on how this affects these young people, we won't make mistakes," he said. "When we're worried about a bureaucracy and keeping the bureaucracy going, you're always going to make mistakes."