Kentucky coach John Calipari enters the Final Four with a majority-freshman roster. That once would have made Kentucky a lock to return to the Final Four in the coming years. Now it means that Calipari will have to recruit a whole new group of freshmen to replace the ones who leave for the NBA.
“Nobody makes a big deal of it when baseball players turn pro out of high school,” Calipari writes in Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out, excerpted by the Wall Street Journal. “I don’t recall an uproar when Tiger Woods left Stanford for the PGA Tour. Neither Bill Gates or Steve Jobs made it all the way through college. We’re not keeping these NBA-quality players for four years. Those days are gone. My point is there is a middle ground.”
Is Calipari comparing Shawn Kemp to Bill Gates?
Calipari, hurt more than most by one-and-done, proposes a farcical solution: two-and-done. “What I propose isn’t that radical, nor should it be difficult,” Calipari understates. “All that it would require is that the NBA come together with the players association and agree that no player comes into the league until at least two years after his high-school class has graduated.”
Why not just admit to everybody what players from Chocolate Thunder to LeBron James admitted to themselves? College isn’t for everyone.