LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — John Calipari isn’t making a judgment call on a report released Wednesday by the Commission on College Basketball calling for the end of the one-and-done era and banning cheating coaches for life.
“I really haven’t had time to look at the commission’s recommendations, yet,” the Kentucky coach tweeted early Wednesday. “I had minor surgery (Tuesday) and that’s going to keep me in the hospital for a couple of days. I’m going to miss recruiting this weekend, but all is good.”
The report called for reforms in college basketball mainly calling for the NBA and its player's association to give elite players more choices and change a rule requiring players to be at least 19-years-old before becoming eligible for the NBA Draft. Six of Kentucky’s players from last year’s 26-11 squad have declared for the draft, with three leaving the door open for a potential return next season.
“One-and-done has to go one way or another,” former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice told the Associated Press. Rice led the independent commission charged to investigate college basketball following a corruption investigation by the FBI that tied Louisville, Arizona, and Kansas to potential NCAA violations.
“The members of this commission come from a wide variety of backgrounds but the one thing that they share in common is that they believe the college basketball enterprise is worth saving,” she said. “We believe there’s a lot of work to do in that regard. That the state of the game is not very strong.”
The NBA and NBPA said in a statement they would “continue to assess” the draft rules “in order to promote the best interests of players and the game.”
NCAA President Mark Emmert is confident the two entities can come to an agreement in the near future.
“I’m confident that they’re going to be very supportive of that and will be good partners with us,” he said. “We want to work with them. Even rules, like changing and how we can manage the timing of issues around the draft.”
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey said the commission "rightly focused its attention on a number of key issues affecting the sport, including agent certification and access, the one-and-done rule, grassroots basketball, and increasing the accountability applied to individuals and institutions who fail to meet the expectations for integrity in college athletics."
“While the report and recommendations won’t solve all of our challenges overnight, this represents an important step in a process to restore confidence in this great sport," he said. "We will now engage with our membership in evaluating the Commission’s proposals and providing constructive feedback to support the Division I Board of Directors decision making process.”
The commission wants the NCAA to consider other options if the NBAPA refuses to change its rules before next season. Among the possible options for the NCAA include making freshman ineligible or locking a scholarship for three to four years if a player leaves college after one year.
The commission also urged lifetime bans for coaches and others who break NCAA violations. The bans would replace show cause orders for violators. The commission also called on the NCAA to create a program for certifying agents and added that the NCAA, NBA, and USA Basketball should run its own summer tournaments and control summer events showcasing top talent.
Rice and the commission also called on the NCAA to demand more financial disclosures from shoe and apparel companies.
* The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at email@example.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.