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Calipari Has A “Big Idea” Plan For Paying Players

This morning, UK’s John Calipari spoke with the folks at KentuckySportsRadio.com — one of this site’s favorite team-specific SEC sites, by the way — and laid out his plan for paying players a “living expense.”  But it wasn’t just a plan for paying players.  No, it was so much more:


1.  Coach Cal believes four new “super conferences” would need to be created.  He proposed Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western conferences, each featuring 16 to 18 schools that play both Division I football and basketball.  That’s a minimum of 64 schools — close to the current BCS total — and a max of 72.  These super conferences would not be part of the NCAA. 

2.  Calipari would open the national basketball tournament up to every member of the super conferences.  So come tourney time, you’d have to scratch non-football schools like Gonzaga, Georgetown, Butler, Xavier and Marquette from your brackets.  (And that’s Problem One.)

3.  For football, Calipari would create a four-team playoff featuring the champion from each 16-18 team super conference.  In theory that four-team playoff from among the nation’s 64-72 top football programs would generate a huge wave of new cash.  (Oh, and the bowl system would still exist for the non-champs in each super conference.)

4.  The new money would then allow athletes to be paid — according to Calipari — about three to four thousand dollars a year.  So the TV money, corporate sponsorships, etc would fund the players’ new salaries.  According to the coach, there would not only be room for all the players to make money, but there would also be enough surplus to dole out $10 million to each school to fund academics, intramural programs and to “get their Title IX in order.”


Personally, I like Calipari.  Sure his reputation ranks somewhere between a tsetse fly and diptheria, but he’s never been caught doing anything wrong and he’s a guy who knows how to market his sport.  I like his big picture ideas.  But this one wouldn’t work.  Here’s why:


1.  Who will be in charge of enforcing the rules for these new super conferences?  Dumping the NCAA elicits a “Yay!” from fans everywhere, but the NCAA will have to replaced by something new.  “Boo!”

2.  Who will be in charge of actually making the new rules?  Think Jim Delany, Mike Slive, John Swofford and Larry Scott all share the same view on oversigning limits, academic entrance requirements, and revenue shares?

3.  Which players get paid?  If Calipari is suggesting only basketball and football players get paid, then everyone should expect lawsuits to be filed from the East, West, North and South.  If there’s money to be had, everyone will want to grab some of it.  Including women’s basketball players, baseball players, softball players and right on down the line to the cross-country ballroom dancers.  And before you dismiss all those folks with a simple “Screw ‘em,” just know that their attorneys (and their reps in Congress) will likely demand a better rationale for cutting them out come payday.

4.  What happens if a scholarship player blows his knee out in August?  Does he still get paid to do rehab and take part in team meetings?  Or does a walk-on take his place, earn a scholarship and claim the injured players cash?  Or worse, does a walk-on just get jilted so the scholarship player can keep his money?


I could go on and on.  The point is this, paying players is a nice idea.  In theory, why would anyone be against it?  But in reality it can’t be done.  Every plan brings a hundred new hoops through which schools would need to jump.

And breaking off from the NCAA would require more lawyers and arbitration hearings than anyone would ever want to follow.  All just to get to the point where fans and coaches can start to complain about the body set up to replace the NCAA.

Kudos to Calipari for thinking big and thinking out loud.  The world needs more theorists.  But this paper airplane just won’t fly.

 


11 comments
ukalum87
ukalum87

Not asking for you to be biased. Just responding about your first post saying only one of seven being offended. Where was I childish in anything I said and where did I say you hated him. You take shots at him quiet often but,each to their own. You seem to read into post what you want to. I am not the typical UK fan that brings up wins, championships, etc... that is stupid to do and I get aggravated at UK fans for doing that. I have noticed that if someone replies back to you then you usually reply in a smartass way. But this is your site and you can do as you wish. Nothing I have typed has been "childish retort". Just called out the boo-hoo stupid retort you posted.

Ryan
Ryan

John,
I understand that people from the non-revenue sports would be crying "foul" so at the end of the day I think they should pay them too. They should handle it by saying that football and basketball make "x" amount of dollars for the university so those players get "x" amount of money per year. Then say that women's hoops, baseball, softball, water polo, etc makes (or loses) "x" amount so those players get "x" and have it be half or less for them. It's called "real life", if you have a degree in journalism, run your own website, have your own tv show, and appear on radio daily then I imagine you make more money than me(who would love to do those things but hasn't worked hard enough to have accomplished those dreams). It's a good way to teach the college kids that life isn't fair and that if they wanted the bigger piece of pie they should have either switched sports or been born with a different chromosome.

graycladcat
graycladcat

"Personally, I like Calipari. Sure his reputation ranks somewhere between a tsetse fly and diptheria, but he’s never been caught doing anything wrong and he’s a guy who knows how to market his sport."

Well if you like a guy and you claim his reputation ranks something like above, I'd hate to be an enemy of yours. Just had to get a dig in on Calipari didn't you. Brought the whole article down because of it.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

graycladcat...

Uh, his reputation -- fair or not -- is crap. Sorry. Fact.

I included that because I knew if I wrote I liked the guy, I'd be bombed with "but he's a cheating scumbag" emails from non-UK fans. So I went in the other direction and instead dealt with one comment -- from you -- and six emails from UK fans... one saying the whole post was written as BS... with my TRUE goal being to rip Calipari. In other words, I wrote everything else just to comment on his reputation.

Personally, I'm getting to where I really don't care who is offended by what I write... because whatever I write, someone WILL be offended.

Congrats on being one of the seven who were offended by this one.

John

ukalum87
ukalum87

You offend way more than just a few with your continued shots at Calipari. There is just no use of responding every time you take at shot at him, because you will continue to do the same. You among many others have a woody for Calipari. There are so many other coaches that have been caught redhanded that go unscathed and some are held as upstanding coaches still. That is just the way it is with the media and people like you. Think of him what you will but, he does care for his players as much or more than any coach out there.

ukalum87
ukalum87

Meant to say, I don't believe that if UK does not hang a banner then it is a wasted year.

ukalum87
ukalum87

Where in my post did I seem to be wearing blue tinted glasses. I am one that believes if UK don't hang a banner then it is a wasted year. All I want is to be competitive. I don't lose sleep if UK loses or does not win a championship. I would bet that the majority of fans of other schools would love having Calipari as there coach with the recruits he brings in and the style of play he puts on the court, whether they admit it or not. Most people including myself believed that when Cal was at Memphis he was a cheater. I got that impression from listening to the talking heads on their opinions. After coming to UK I have read about his past and what I have seen since he has been here and I have a different perspective now. He has not been found guilty of nothing but, that don't matter in most peoples thinking.
Oh the boo_hoo, very adult like of you or for a twelve year old.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

ukalum87...

Boo-hoo.

Fact 1: I like John Calipari and think he's good for the SEC
Fact 2: That's in spite of the fact that everyone outside of Kentucky thinks he's a cheater
Fact 3: I've written many times the key to Calipari is "plausible deniability"

You see, unlike many people in our world, I'm not a "love it or leave it" simpleton. My favorite teams CAN lose games. My political party CAN make mistakes. And I can like someone AND see their flaws... or at least their reputation for being flawed.

If you've got a problem with any of that, well, then you'd better hurry back to your favorite UK site to read how all things Wildcat are the A-1 bestest!

John

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

Would this approach give the major powers more power with recruiting, yes. That is economics - Texas, Bama, Florida, TN, Ohio St., Mich just sell more merchandise than Southern Miss. There is nothing that can be done about that. Some schools just make more money. However a top QB/WR/DB would have to weigh the numbers - would I get more money from being hot for one year at Texas, or 4 years at Southern Miss?

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

The only item that I have supported for the players is to be able to tap into the merchandise sales by the school. I feel that all players should be able to receive funds for sales of merchandise with their number while in school and name and number once they leave school. I feel that those funds should be placed into a trust for when the player uses up all of their eligibility at any school (discouraging transfers), graduates or is declared medically unable to play. The amount of money that is given to the player's trust fund is split between the the actual player and the other players on the team. So for the sell of a $100 jersey, $10 would be placed into the player's trust fund. $6 of that would be assigned to the actual player, and $4 into the general fund for the other players to divide up based upon their actual appearence on game day rosters or IR rosters for the game. The would benefit walk-ons and even the scrubs on the bench.

VolFan21
VolFan21

I'm a parent who pays tuition costs for my children to attend college. Anyone out there who suggests that student athletes are not compensated properly is apparently not seeing the big picture. Just add up what one semester costs a student attending a big time college. Tuition, room and board, books and even clothing are furnished to these athletes as compensation to continue to play the sports they love. I personnally would sacrifice a lot just to have the opportunity to play for my favorite university.

Calipari wants to add extra insentives so he will have a better chance of keeping his "one and done" players. That's why his plan has so many holes and is a law suit waiting to happen.

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