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John Calipari: We'll Use Business Cards in Handshake Line with New Transfer Rule

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2020

Kentucky coach John Calipari scratches his head late in the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Tennessee, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Lexington, Ky. Tennessee won 81-73. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
James Crisp/Associated Press

Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball coach John Calipari believes not enough thought has been put into a proposed NCAA rule change that would let players transfer and retain immediate eligibility.

"We're going to be handing out, in the handshake line, business cards, when the games end," he told reporters during a Monday teleconference. "I mean ... people don't know the unintended consequences, and they haven't talked to coaches enough."

Calipari went on to call the proposed rule "crazy" and suggested it will negatively impact the coaches at non-powerhouse schools the most.

"This—if they go with it, which I hear they are—it doesn't hurt Kentucky, it helps us," he said. "We're going to have all kinds of calls, kids wanting to join our program. ... OK. But what does it do to all the mid-majors, low majors, or even the bottom half of the Power Fives?"

In February, Sam Cooper of Yahoo Sports noted the NCAA's Division I Transfer Waiver Working Group hoped to implement the proposed rule by the 2020-21 academic year.

It would allow athletes in football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball and hockey the ability to be immediately eligible following a transfer in a consistent matter with other sports, although they would need to "receive a transfer release from their previous school, leave their previous school academically eligible, maintain their academic progress at the new school and leave under no disciplinary suspension."

Calipari's suggestion that powerhouses would be at a significant advantage because they could handpick players who outperformed expectations in smaller programs isn't that difficult to envision, but a clear power balance between programs already exists under the current system.

His Wildcats are on the short list of the most prestigious programs in college basketball and are once again well positioned to make a deep run in the NCAA men's tournament with a 25-6 regular-season record.

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