It sometimes feel as if every Kentucky player is declaring for the NBA draft.
That will literally be true this year.
Kentucky coach John Calipari:
Calipari is taking advantage of a new rule that allows players who declare for the draft to maintain their college eligibility as long as they withdraw from the draft within 10 days after the combine and don’t hire an agent.
Is Calipari going a little far and grandstanding here? You bet. But it’s also a shrewd move for multiple reasons:
1. It brings attention to Calipari and Kentucky, which should help with recruiting.
2. Kentucky players, even if they return to school, gain valuable experience and information.
3. Kentucky players who were planning to return to school at least get an opportunity to impress NBA executives who are willing to pay more than the cartel rate colleges offer athletes.
Determining whether to turn pro can be a tough decision. The NCAA – under the guise of amateurism that funnels money to administrators and coaches – bans its players from having agents. Because who would want to allow teenagers to received advisement from an experienced professional in this situation?
If I were a college player who couldn’t hire an agent, I’d want Calipari guiding me through this process.