John Calipari Wants To Eliminate College Basketball’s ‘One-And-Done’ Rule

Kentucky head coach John Calipari

Photo via Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports Images

John Calipari has used college basketball’s “one-and-done” system better than almost any coach in the game, but that doesn’t mean the Kentucky Wildcats coach thinks the rule should stick around.

The NCAA has come under fire in wake of the FBI’s investigation into the underbelly of college basketball, with many people suggesting it’s time for college basketball and the NBA to take away the age restriction and perhaps start compensating players for use of their likeness. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr also suggested that players who enter the NBA draft early and are not drafted should be able to go back to school.

Calipari went on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday and outlined some of the wholesale changes he would make to the game, including lifting the “one-and-done” rule.

“Let me give you a couple things,” Calipari said. “One, kids should be able to go out of high school. But how do we do that without devaluing education? Now I’m going to give you some names. Sebastian Telfair. Jeremy Tyler. Leon Smith. Robert Swift. Jonathan Bender. Kwame Brown. Those are kids that you probably don’t even know who they are, but they were out of high school and didn’t make it.”

The Wildcats coach did voice his concerns, however, about the impact that would have on education.

“We just had the highest graduation rate of African-American basketball players in the history of our sport last year. You know how many of those kids thought they were one-and-done or two-and-done? Probably 90 percent of them, but they stayed in school and they got it. Our kids have lifetime scholarships, and because we do it, you know other schools are doing it too now. They can come back when they need to.”

While Calipari saying the age restriction should be lifted will raise eyebrows, he had another idea that absolutely should be put into effect to determine which kids should go to the NBA draft out of high school.

“Do a combine for juniors. Take 100 of them, tell the ones that need to go to college ‘you need to go to school.’ ‘You 15, or 12, you need to go directly to the NBA.’ But let them know.”

While eliminating the “one-and-done” likely would hurt Calipari’s recruiting, he outlined a lot of changes that college basketball would benefit from, including suggesting the NBA Players Association loan players’ families money so they can have an easier time adjusting from high school to college.

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