Apr 10, 2014 03:51 PM EDT
NBA Commish Adam Silver and Kentucky Coach John Calipari Discuss How to Get College Athletes to Stay in School Longer
Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, is as much a proponent for change in the NCAA as anyone, but probably not in the same way as most.
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According to ESPN, Silver said he wants the NBA to raise the age limit for draft eligibility from 19 to 20. In return, he said he wants the league to cover expenses for student-athletes not covered by the cost of admission.
"Rather than focusing on a salary and thinking of them as employees, I would go to their basic necessities," Silver said Wednesday at the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center Partner Summit. "I think if [Connecticut Huskies guard] Shabazz Napier is saying he is going hungry, my God, it seems hard to believe, but there should be ample food for the players."
He said the NBA could invest in offering more complete insurance plans for student-athletes, including a total disability clause protecting anyone from a career-threatening injury. The NCAA does offer a disability insurance plan, but only to athletes they believe will be drafted highly.
"It does, in my mind, need to be a three-way conversation," Silver said. "You heard college administrators at press conferences around the [NCAA] tournament say that it's the NBA's problem or the union is putting up resistance. It's a more complex problem than that."
Kentucky coach John Calipari has been one of the most outspoken people in college sports calling for the NCAA to make a change. He is even coming out with a book to express his reform ideas next Tuesday on the heels of his National Championship game loss to UConn.
"The situation reminds me a little of the Soviet Union in its last years," Calipari wrote in the book, according to the Wall Street Journal. "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, whose book will be titled "Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out," has previously opined solutions to get players to spend more than one year in college.
Calipari's recommended changes include:
- A stipend for players ranging between $3,000 and $5,000
- The NCAA to cover a player's insurance premiums
- Allow student-athletes to accept loans up to $50,000 against their future earnings