Kentucky’s John Calipari says transfer portal is ‘the same as one-and-done’

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Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari was the face of the one-and-done era in men’s college basketball after the NBA changed its draft eligibility requirements as he acquired high school talent who were ready to make the leap to the pros after just one season.

Calipari on Tuesday said the advent of the transfer portal is essentially the same thing as one-and-done because players can compete at a school for one season and hit the portal.

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John Calipari vs Kansas State

Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats during the Kansas State Wildcats game in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 19, 2023, in North Carolina. (Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

“It is one-and-done, too,” he said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “Everybody was mad about a young player coming in and only staying one year. Well, now we’re doing it with older players. It’s the same as one-and-done.”

Calipari said there were scores of players in the transfer portal who didn’t have scholarships and claimed that other head coaches were holding onto extra scholarships in case a good transfer player became available, which hurts high school players.

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John Calipari on fixing the transfer portal

Kentucky head coach John Calipari said in July that fixing the transfer portal should be a priority for the NCAA. (Silas Walker/Lexington Herald-Leader/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The Wildcats general said the NCAA should allow players to transfer only once without a penalty and to play only four years in a five-year window, according to ESPN.

“The issue becomes – I believe a kid should be able to transfer once without penalties,” he added. “You make a mistake or you’re not where you want to be, I get it.”

Calipari has been the head coach since the 2009-10 season. Kentucky won the national championship in 2012.

John Calipari vs Carson Wallace

Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats speaks to Cason Wallace during the game against the Providence Friars, in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, on March 17, 2023, in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

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He’s 387-113 in 14 years with the Wildcats.

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