Calipari: Without NCAA change, 'we need to separate from them'

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

In recent months, talk of big-time schools uncoupling themselves from the NCAA has grown beyond a whisper. Most of that dialogue is with regard to football because football's bowl system isn't run by the NCAA. So if there were to be a split, the sever would seem easier to induce.

But John Calipari became the most notable college basketball coach (and maybe first, publicly) to play the leave-the-NCAA card when he went on a rant against the organization on radio Thursday morning.

In an interview on WKJK in Louisville, Calipari went off on the age-limit rule which, again, to be clear, is completely the decision of the NBA and a part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NBA Players' Association and the owners. Calipari's tangent is targeted with frustration in general at the NCAA and how he tries to run a program around legislation that he thinks hurts his team and college basketball as a whole.

You can listen to the rant transcribed below in the video above. Just click at the 6:20 mark, and that's where he gets going.

"Can we continue to separate, can we continue to do this with these rules the way they are? I'm the one guy out there saying, 'We've gotta change this somehow. We've gotta encourage these kids to stay two years.' But the NCAA's gotta do some stuff. And if they don't do it, we need to separate from them. I'm not afraid to say it. Look, they've embarrassed me. I've done nothing, so they're not going to come and show retribution to me and do stuff. I don't really care. But something's gotta change with this one-and-done rule. I seem to be the only coach saying anything. You know why? No one wants to see these kids two years here (at Kentucky). They don't want to see them for two years, so now we're all good with one year. It's wrong for high school kids, it's wrong for college kids, it's wrong for the NBA, so why won't we come together and do something about it?"

Calipari implored the NCAA to up its incentives to players earlier this year, after Nerlens Noel's season ended due to a torn left ACL. Nearly two years ago, he pitched an idea for four superconferences, in addition to why/how players should be paid.

The quasi-threat against the NCAA came shortly after Calipari playfully ribbed Louisville, by the way. You can hear it in the video above, near the six-minute mark, when he says, "The good news for us in this program is, we won one first. ... What happens to them doesn't have an effect on us unless we let it."

 
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