Blog Entry

Calipari presents his solution for paying players

Posted on: June 22, 2011 2:12 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 2:31 pm
By Matt Norlander

Four super-conferences. Yes, this notion has been tossed around here and there in the past couple of years. I don't know if we'll reach that point in the next two decades, but if the NCAA is to ever pay "living expenses" for its student-athletes (also referred to as cost-of-attendance scholarships), John Calipari thinks having a separate state and government for college superpowers is the only feasible way to make it happen.

(Stop right there. senior writer Dennis Dodd has a different solution for this issue. Do give it a read.)

Sort of like turning the NCAA into a big game of Risk, I guess. Move the pieces into new territories and take over the world.

Calipari went on Kentucky Sports Radio this morning (hosted by friend of the blog, Matt Jones) and clarified and expounded upon some answers he gave to Dan Rieffer of WTVQ-Lexington yesterday.

The Kentucky coach said he agrees that the living expense/cost-of-attendance scholarship should be implemented into the college game. Certain universities are receiving so much money these days, it's his belief that players should be compensated for reasonable items. In the interview, he harkens back to a few decades ago when buying a player a soda wasn't deemed criminal.

But those days are gone, and since the hard-and-fast rules of the NCAA are so strict when it comes to money, Calipari's only solution to getting student-athletes funding beyond their scholarships is to have major programs break off from the NCAA and start a rogue set of nations. Basically, have the richest schools move to a fairer, more-balanced playing field. Call it the adult table of college athletics, if you'd like.

"My thing was, there's only one way you can do this," Calipari said. "This is the only way I can see it. You have four super-conferences. A West Coast conference with 16 or 18 teams; a northern conference, you know, where the Big Ten area, of 16 or 18 teams;a southern conference, like the SEC teams, 16 or 18 teams; and an eastern conference like the ACC teams, that have 16 or 18 teams in them. Now, I say 16 or 18 because you could [have] 64 or 72 (teams) and be fine. Because, in football, you'd have nine in each division. They have a playoff championship in their league, the four leagues. Those four winners would be semifinalists for the football championship, and then there'd be a national title game, and the others would play in the bowls. All that television, all that revenue goes back to the 64 or 72 teams -- only those teams. Then you have a basketball tournament with those teams. Those 64 or 72 are in the tournament. Everybody's team is in the tournament."

And that's where you lose me. An NCAA tournament that consists of only the teams from the super-conferences? And everyone automatically qualifies? No. A million, billion times: no. But, for clarity's sake, this isn't what Calipari explicitly wants. He's claiming that it's the only conceivable way he can think of to sufficiently and fairly pay student-athletes.

The football model seems judicious on a few levels, by the way. Interesting to hear one of college basketball's most prominent coaches dispense a plan about how college football can expand and improve its product, and to do it in a way that's pretty imaginable, even if far off. Plenty do believe the swells have already started, though, and that more and more universities are gaining more money and power in the hopes of one day splitting from the NCAA and governing themselves in a way that's unprecedented in American collegiate athletics.

On the topic of fairly paying players, though, if this is the answer, there is no answer.

If you'd like to hear the eight-plus minutes of Calipari's half-baked -- but well-articulated -- plan, have at it.

Category: NCAAB

Since: Apr 5, 2008
Posted on: June 22, 2011 5:55 pm

Calipari presents his solution for paying players

This is a big stick in the eye of the NCAA is what it is!  And I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Finally someone has the guts to stand up to the skunks in charge of the NCAA that play favorites every time they turn their head.  How many really want some teams punished for infractions while other teams are rewarded for them?  Have you even noticed how the NCAA is being ran?  How many stunningly stupid and dishonest rulings have they had just in the past year?  It's time to end the NCAA as we know it.  It's a corrupt organization from top to bottom.  And the fact that CBS hates it only proves what a good thing it could be.  You just might lose your stranglehold at the C(ollssal)BS newtwork.  No more fawning love affairs with the ACC during games where no ACC teams are playing.  No more letting west region teams play in NC (who just happen to be NC teams).  No more trashing coaches from teams you don't like.  No more mythology about racism.  C-BS has a vested interest in promoting certain teams and they do it with abandon.  IT SHOULD ALL END!!!  Thank goodness someone finally realizes it.  And yes the players deserve to eat and actually wear clothes while they earn billions (with a B) for the universities and the corrupt NCAA.

Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: June 22, 2011 5:23 pm

Calipari presents his solution for paying players

Dude are you serious? "Severely punish" someone because of their opinion?
Because it differs from yours?

absolutely ridiculous...this is America- not Iran

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: June 22, 2011 4:36 pm

Calipari presents his solution for paying players

Yea, theycallmepro, I agree, they should totally take the Hilter approach. That kind of thing always works. The NCAA will look even worse than it already does if they make a big deal out of this kind of talk. All it will do is show that they are really scared of losing all their money. The NCAA shouldn't care if these schools break off and do their own thing, since you know, ths would be better for the players, and the NCAA is all about the student athlete, and not all about, ya know, making billions of dollars.

The more I think about it, the more I'm actually liking this idea. The only thing I wouold do different is make it a 32 team main tourney, and the rest in an NIT type tourney.

Since: Oct 7, 2010
Posted on: June 22, 2011 4:26 pm

Calipari presents his solution for paying players

Sounds like all the Hilljacks from Kentucky are rubbing off on Cal already.  Players don't need to be payed anymore than they already are,(especially Calipari's players).  Players get a free education, room and board, and food for at least 4 years. Not to mention all the clothes and shoes kids get for being on the team.  And for some players that is putting them in a better position than they were in before they went to college.  They also get publicity from being on TV night in and night out.  Sure, they help bring in a lot of money for the schools, but the schools are shelling out a lot of money for these kids to attend school.  How about go to class, get a degree, and earn money from a real job like the rest of us.  That is, if you don't make it to the NBA.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: June 22, 2011 4:24 pm

Calipari presents his solution for paying players

If someone buys a licensed shirt with a players name on it and the name of the school they should share the fee the school gets, today the school gets it all.    Simple enough. 

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: June 22, 2011 4:16 pm

Calipari presents his solution for paying players

I guess you people didn't quite understand what you were reading. This had nothing to do with mid majors being able to compete at a high level. This was about the schools(conferences) that have enough money and power being able to break away from the NCAA and govern themselves. Which isn't all that bad of an idea, due to the NCAA and it's actions and rulings geting more idiotic every year.

Since: Dec 16, 2008
Posted on: June 22, 2011 4:09 pm

Calipari presents his solution for paying players

If I was the NCAA, I would SEVERELY PUNISH every single coach who mentions this topic as if it can become a reality, or as if it should be done in the first place.

Players get $40 a day for food.

$300 a month for rent if they live off campus.

 And their books and everything else are free, INCLUDING  a FREE EDUCATION.

Dont give me this crap. Seriously, the NCAA needs to stop being such wusses and come down HARD on all these coaches who are floating these ludicrous ideas around.

Let the media speculate about this so they can have a "controversial" topic to discuss all year long.

But dont you dare let these coaches speculate any longer.

The NCAA needs to come out with a strong voice shouting these coahces down, right now. Kill this topic internally, and let the media and the ignorant masses complain about the "unfairnes" for the rest of time.

NCAA, get some balls.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: June 22, 2011 3:54 pm

Calipari presents his solution for paying players

Lets take advice on how something- should be- run, from a guy who put 2 programs on NCAA probes after he left (Umass, Memphis). Next, dating advice from perez hilton, marriage counciling by OJ simp  and professionalism courses taught by the kardashians.

Since: Jul 26, 2007
Posted on: June 22, 2011 3:39 pm

Calipari presents his solution for paying players

Of course, it should be limited to the "super-conferences". 
; After all, it is Known Fact (which to question is apostasy) that no small-conference team is capable of making the Final Four.  Butler, George Mason, and VCU didn't REALLY make the Final Four in recent years, since that would contradict Known Fact.

Anyway, Calipari's half-baked idea wouldn't work.  Schools like, oh, let's pick an example at random, Kentucky, would still find a way to pay their players a stipend above and beyond whatever is authorized.   All you'd be doing is raising the floor, not limiting the ceiling.

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: June 22, 2011 3:38 pm

Calipari presents his solution for paying players

Butler says hello.

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