John Calipari is about to hop aboard the recruiting train, which means it’s time for his annual manifesto. Yep, it’s the yearly piece where Coach Cal sets out to dispel myths, myths and more myths. This time around Cal has compiled 20 questions all recruits should ask a prospective coach during the recruitment process.
Any recruit-able student-athlete, especially a high-level prospect, has to understand that this is a business decision, not an emotional one. Their future is at stake. The only way they can make a business decision is to be truly thorough in their approach.
When asking the following questions, Calipari recommends the answers pertain only to the past five years (“What happened 10 or more years ago is irrelevant”). Unsurprisingly, the questions tend to skew towards Kentucky’s recent success, some with subtle commentary on other programs – “What kind of social media training program do you have in place?” (looking at you, Pitino). For the most part, though, they are excellent fact-finding tools.
Below is the complete list, courtesy of the coach’s website.
- Does your program offer multi-year (four-year) scholarships?
- How many players have graduated from your program over the last four to five years?
- How many players have graduated from your school and gone on to the NBA?
- How many players have come back to finish school after they have left to pursue other dreams? Who pays for it?
- How many of your players were insured through the disability program last season? If none were, why not?
- What is your team grade-point average?
- Where does your Academic Progress Rate retention rank among other schools?
- What type of media training do you offer?
- What kind of social media training program do you have in place? What are your social media policies?
- How many double-figure scorers have you averaged in the last four to five years? If you only have one or two a year, what does that mean for me?
- Have you ever coached anyone like me? If so, who?
- How many McDonald’s All-Americans have you coached? How many of them went on to the NBA?
- How have your teams fared with three or four McDonald’s All-Americans on the same team?
- How many freshmen have you started within the last four to five years?
- How many draft picks have you had over the last five years? How many drafted were not McDonald’s All-Americans? How many of the total were first-rounders and were any of them No. 1 draft picks during that time?
- How many of those players have gone on to make the NBA All-Rookie team?
- How many games will my family be able to watch on national television?
- How many of your home games are sold out? How many of your road games are sold out?
- How have you done in postseason play? Any Final Fours?
- What is your core philosophy?
Calipari is a master of exposing the NCAA’s business side. He peels away the student-athlete guise to expose the pulsating, capitalistic veins of college athletics. For that reason alone, these questions work.
For the player who views his or her college tenure through the eyes of a the traditional liberal arts model, Calipari’s questions may seem too calculating. However, for the players who see the NCAA as an inevitable hurdle they must leap, Cal’s approach is an early crash course in the business of college athletics.