I really like John Calipari’s UMass team in the early 90s. I even visited the campus when I was considering schools then decided it wasn’t for me.
He has a point though with players who leave school early. If you have the chance to make tens of millions of dollars like John Wall, Derrick Rose, Marcus Camby, DeMarcus Cousins or Anthony Davis why would you stay in school?
He even had an incredible player at Memphis who got sick and had to retire at 21. In the NBA he made $7.8 million. If he stayed four years he makes nothing.
Honestly, the idea of “student-athlete” and being an “amateur” is just what the NCAA pretends. If you are going to Alabama, LSU or Ohio State to play football and Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, UCLA or Villanova to go play basketball you are a minor league athlete who is not being paid.
And considering that you have players graduate to the NBA is frankly honest.
The NCAA has possibly never been amateur. The whole idea of amateurism has always been class based. If you have money you can afford not to be paid.
I respect John Calipari more after yet another very good documentary in ESPN’s outstanding 30 for 30 series.