Skip to content

John Calipari compares NCAA to former Soviet Union in new book

Apr 10, 2014, 5:17 PM EST

John Calipari Getty Images

In recent years the NCAA has come under fire for the way in which collegiate athletics have been governed, with the escalation of television rights and coaching salaries leading to more questions in regards to whether or not student-athletes deserve a greater say in the way things are run. There’s also the issue of scholarships, and if what the participants currently receive is enough or should more be added to those athletic grants-in-aid.

One person who believes more should be done for the athletes is Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who touched on the issue in his book “Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out.” The book is due to be released April 15, and also of note is Calipari’s characterization of the NCAA according to Ben Cohen of the Wall Street Journal.

“The situation reminds me a little of the Soviet Union in its last years,” Calipari writes in a forthcoming book. “It was still powerful. It could still hurt you. But you could see it crumbling, and it was just a matter of time before it either changed or ceased to exist.”

Calipari makes a good point here, and it’s been acknowledged in recent months that changes need to be made. The five most “powerful” conferences, which happen to be the most influential in the sport that reels in the most money (college football), have taken steps towards being able to decide how they’ll handle certain issues without having to worry about smaller leagues shutting down their proposals.

One such proposal is meeting the full cost of attendance for scholarship athletes, a measure that met significant resistance when first suggested. Both NCAA president Mark Emmert and Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby alluded to the fact that changes needed to be made during their press conference at the Final Four on Sunday, but saying such things and actually doing them are two entirely different matters.

The additional scholarship money is something Calipari favors, as he’s suggested in the book that a stipend of $3,000 to $5,000 would help athletes meet the full cost of attendance. And it should be noted that meeting the full cost of attendance and flat-out paying athletes are two entirely different things. That tends to get lost in some of the discussions regarding this particular measure.

With Northwestern football players taking the first step towards introducing unions to collegiate athletics, it’s even more apparent that the powers that be in collegiate athletics need to make adjustments. Because the strategy of simply winning the court of public opinion isn’t going to work anymore.

Latest Posts
  1. #POSTERIZED: Memphis’ Markel Crawford dunks on Tulane defender (VIDEO)

    Jan 24, 2015, 9:31 PM EST

    Central Florida v Memphis Central Florida v Memphis

    Crawford and his teammates are looking to rebound from the 18-point loss they suffered at Tulsa Wednesday night.

  2. Central Connecticut State beats Wagner on Brandon Peel’s buzzer-beating three (VIDEO)

    Jan 24, 2015, 9:20 PM EST

    CCSU Athletics CCSU Athletics

    Peel finished the game with 17 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks as the Blue Devils picked up their first win in NEC play.

  3. No. 21 Baylor beats No. 19 Oklahoma, should we be concerned about the Sooners?

    Jan 24, 2015, 8:34 PM EST

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Baylor really needed this win, but Oklahoma has now lost three of their last four.

  4. Balanced effort moves William & Mary into tie for first in the CAA (VIDEO)

    Jan 24, 2015, 7:20 PM EST

    William & Mary v North Carolina William & Mary v North Carolina

    The Tribe bounced back from a loss at Delaware earlier in the week to move into a tie for first in the CAA.

  5. Slow start dooms No. 9 Iowa State as they lose at Texas Tech

    Jan 24, 2015, 6:46 PM EST

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwrjywuxywyyywu3mjy5mddjotbkn2i1nzqynjq3zdhk AP

    Texas Tech hit its first five three-pointers and led by as many as 19 points in the first half of their 78-73 win over the Cyclones.

  6. Saturday’s Snacks: No. 18 West Virginia, Georgetown win absolute thrillers

    Jan 24, 2015, 5:18 PM EST

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Get caught up on everything that has happened in college basketball on Saturday.

  7. No. 11 Kansas makes a statement blowing out No. 17 Texas

    Jan 24, 2015, 4:52 PM EST

    Getty Images Getty Images

    “We are still the best team in the Big 12″ — Kansas, on Saturday.

  8. #POSTERIZED: Marquette’s Derrick Wilson with a surprising poster (VIDEO)

    Jan 24, 2015, 3:14 PM EST

    Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 3.10.44 PM

    Wilson dunks all over Georgetown’s Paul White.

  9. Iowa star Aaron White suffers ‘stinger’ in shoulder against Purdue

    Jan 24, 2015, 1:53 PM EST

    Traevon Jackson, Aaron White

    White is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Hawkeyes.

  10. WATCH LIVE: Northeastern visits William & Mary on NBCSN

    Jan 24, 2015, 1:30 PM EST

    Richmond Northeastern Basketball AP

    Northeastern and William & Mary clash on NBCSN.

  11. Baylor awards two walk-ons with scholarships (VIDEO)

    Jan 24, 2015, 12:15 PM EST

    2014 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational Basketball Tournament Baylor v Illinois Getty Images

    Walk-ons receiving scholarships will never get old.

  12. WATCH LIVE: Drexel hosts College of Charleston on NBCSN

    Jan 24, 2015, 11:30 AM EST

    AP AP

    The College of Charleston battles Drexel in a CAA clash on NBCSN.

  13. Pitt wing will have shoulder surgery and miss the rest of the season

    Jan 24, 2015, 11:15 AM EST

    Pittsburgh v Indiana Getty Images

    Pitt will officially be without a wing for the rest of the season.

  14. Maryland, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Wichita State will get ‘Hard Knocks’ treatment in new all-access show

    Jan 24, 2015, 10:15 AM EST

    VMI v Maryland Getty Images

    Four of the top programs in college basketball will allow Showtime to film them extensively for a new all-access show that is supposed to be similar to HBO’s popular football series “Hard Knocks.”

  15. Pregame Shootaround: Two top-25 matchups in the Big 12 leads a big day of college hoops

    Jan 24, 2015, 9:00 AM EST

    Oklahoma v Kansas Getty Images

    A big day of hoops features some more top-25 games between Big 12 opponents.

  16. Late Night Snacks: VCU remains undefeated in conference play

    Jan 23, 2015, 11:10 PM EST

    AP AP

    Here’s the rundown from Friday’s slate of games.

  17. VCU’s Treveon Graham goes coast-to-coast for the game-winner (VIDEO)

    Jan 23, 2015, 9:15 PM EST

    AP AP

    The preseason player of the year in the Atlantic 10 had 21 points.