No college basketball coach has been more affected by the one-and-done system than John Calipari.
The University of Kentucky coach says he has met with National Basketball Players Associations representatives as he continues to push for a new set of rules that would end up dropping the curtain on the one-and-done system.
Toward that end, Calipari told the the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Friday his wish is for the NBPA to assist in developing a combine for high school juniors to add them in preparing for a potential leap to the NBA straight out of high school.
“The players and the families need to know,” Calipari said. “Here are the ones who should be thinking about the NBA and here are the ones who should not,.
“That’s why you need a combine.”
He also suggested agents should be allowed to work with high school players to assist them gauging their readiness for the NBA.
Calipari previously suggested the idea of a high school combine in March during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show. He said the combine could include 100 juniors and identify 12 to 15 NBA-ready players. The rest would be told, “You need to go to school.”
Some high school players who had been previously committed to college programs have opted to go directly to the G League out of high school, such as former Syracuse commit Darius Bazley.
Calipari expressed worry not enough is being done to assist those players in formulating a backup plan for education should their NBA aspirations do not pan out.
“There are unintended consequences here for these kids and their families,” Calipari told the Star-Telegram. “Don’t encourage 8th-, 9th- and 10th-graders to forgo education just to go to the G League.
“…What do we do if they are not academically ready at all, because they didn’t plan on it? Who wants to take care of those thousands of kids whose family, many times, are dealing with generational poverty and their chance was maybe to get him an education?”
Calipari’s idea includes college-education funds being given to players who choose to go directly to the G League, a system Major League Baseball has implemented and utilizes.
“If they choose to do that, that’s fine, but why don’t we make sure if they don’t make it in, they at least have a chance at a guaranteed education,” he said.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday he believes the rules regarding the NBA draft age limit will be altered.
“It’s clear that the college community doesn’t seem to want the one-and-done players any more,” Silver said in an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up! “Putting aside the self-interest of the NBA, we have to be responsive to the larger basketball community.”
Silver relayed he has discussed the topic with NBPA executive director Michele Roberts and players’ union president Chris Paul. All have agreed to revisit the issue after the playoffs, according to Silver.
Calipari told the Star-Telegram he would be perfectly OK if the one-and-done system is ultimately done away with.
“Whatever the rules,” he said, “we’re going to be fine.”