Dear Coach Calipari,
Congratulations on a terrific season. You assembled an exciting group of young men who gave University of Kentucky fans a thrill a minute this year. We’ll be talking about this team for years, if not forever.
But that’s not why I’m writing you. I want to say how delighted I was to see your remarks in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal sports section where you gave us a preview of your new book. It was the headline that caught me eye: “Why ‘One and Done’ Must End.”
In your book, “Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out,” you explain why you have embraced “one-and-done” players – and why you want the NBA’s eligibility rules to change.
In other words, you would like to see our phenomenal UK players, like Julius Randle, James Young, and the Harrison twins, hang around Lexington for at least one more year.
You told the Wall Street Journal, “I’ve made it work for the teams I coach – and for the players – as best I can. But I don’t like it one bit. Some people say I’m renting the players or I’m working the system. Let me make this very clear: I want to coach players for four years.”
You go on to say that very few of the young players are truly ready for the rigors of the NBA and you’d like to see them benefit from more time in the classroom and on a college campus.
Coach, I like your suggestion that what you propose wouldn’t be that radical or difficult. “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.”
Great idea! Can you get it done before the end of the week?
There’s a lot more in your book that I’d like to discuss with you. Why don’t you stop by the KET studios and we’ll tape a One to One show.
Until then, take care of that bad hip and enjoy some well-earned time with your family. And, once again, thanks for a super season.
All the best,