Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
John Calipari says NCAA changes raise more questions than they answer
By ADAM ZAGORIA
Kentucky coach John Calipari says the new NCAA reforms in college basketball raise more questions than they answer.
“None of this goes into effect until the NBA and the Players Association come up with something, and I’m hearing it won’t be until 2022,” Calipari said Wednesday night on ESPN from the Bahamas, where the Wildcats will play four games between Aug. 8-12. “So we’re probably wasting our breath dealing with the ins and outs of this.”
The NCAA’s rule changes include allowing players to work with an agent while declaring for the NBA draft. College players would have to request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee on their draft prospects. The rules would also allow elite high school players to work with an agent if the NBA removes its one-and-done rule. The one-and-done rule may not change until 2021 at the earliest, however.
The agent would have to be certified by the NCAA no later than August 2020. Until then, agents certified by the NBA players’ union would qualify.
Agents would be allowed to cover minimal expenses such as meals and transportation tied to meetings or workouts with pro teams. The agent’s work would stop if the player enrolls in or returns to college.
Meantime, Calipari supported claims made by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski Wednesday that USA Basketball was caught “blindsided” by the changes. That organization will apparently now be in charge of deciding which high school prosepcts are considered “elite” and can therefore get agents.
“I’m here in the Bahamas and the CEO of USA Basketball, Jim Tooley, is here and he’s like saying, ‘Wait a minute, wait a minute,'” Calipari said. “We deal with one of the one-percenters. We don’t deal with foreign players. We’re not, USA Basketball, in a position to try to say who gets an agent and who does not, and he’s willing to do summer stuff, but not himself. He wants to be with others. He wants to collaborate with NBA, with the NCAA, with the Players Association, USA together. So there’s a lot of stuff that needs to be worked out.”
Calipari also pointed to the problem with the rule allowing players to return to college if they aren’t drafted after attending the NBA Combine.
“I’ll give you one,” Calipari said. “They’re saying a player who puts his name in the draft, and if he doesn’t get drafted…I wish if he was in the second round he could go back to college, but if they want it to be that he can go back to college after he’s not drafted, my question is: What if there are no scholarships at that school because they gave the scholarships away because they thought [the kid was leaving. What does that kid do now? Does he go to another school? Does he have to sit out? He was trying to leave.”
(The AP contributed)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.