Vicky Graff Photo
By LARRY VAUGHT
If John Calipari had his way, he would “love another year” to coach Nate Sestina because the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to seniors because of this year’s NCAA Tournament being cancelled.
“I like being around him. Every day you walk in and you see him, you smile,” Calipari said Tuesday.
Calipari said spring athletes losing an entire season like they are is not quite like basketball seniors losing postseason play.
“They’re not having their season. So, they have to do something for them,” Calipari said.
Then he got started on basketball.
“There are unintended consequences for us as basketball where we all played our whole regular season. We missed postseason. For seniors, how many of them would have played in the NCAA Tournament? How many of them would have really advanced in the NCAA Tournament? What does it do to scholarship levels? What does it do to incoming freshmen?” Calipari said.
“There were four freshmen who went to a school because those five seniors were graduating. They (the seniors) came back. They (the freshmen) don’t want to go to that school. Can they transfer?”
Wait. He’s got a lot more questions about giving basketball players another year of eligibility.
“If there are seniors, 70 that come back and you give them an extra year, can they become grad transfers? Well, you can’t stop them from that. That’s their right. Now do we have more? I mean there are unintended consequences,” Calipari said.
“Would I love to have our man back, Nate, for another year? Absolutely. But there are things and decisions that they have to make some of it financially. Now, if you give three more scholarships to the men’s program, you’re going to have to give three more scholarships to the women’s program.
“Six more scholarships at $40,000. I mean, there are things that they’ve got to walk through. Do I think the kids should have that year? It would be great if there was some way to work it out for those seniors.”