Sports Court NIL Newsletter | Coach Cal & NIL

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Today’s Case

John Calipari getting substantial NIL budget with Arkansas job

Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari (Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Kentucky coach John Calipari appears headed to Arkansas to take over as the program’s new men’s basketball coach.

And while he’ll be taking a slight pay cut in salary ($8 million annually at Arkansas vs. $8.5 million at Kentucky), he’ll make up for it in NIL money.

Field of 68 reported after news broke of the negotiations that Calipari should have access to a large NIL budget for his team - potentially more than $5 million to start.

In this current era, that could be one of the biggest NIL budgets in the game and would allow Calipari to continue to recruit and entice transfers like the ones he’s lured to Kentucky.

This also comes on the heels of the launch of an NIL fund at Kentucky specifically to make the program one of the leaders in NIL in the game.

The Verdict

  • Knowing the right people for big NIL dollars

    • Having regular donations to a collective is good. Having regular donations from mega boosters is even better.

      • Calipari’s friends with Arkansas ties includes John Tyson (billionaire heir of Tyson Foods), Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and the Walton family (Wal-Mart).

      • The above three people alone can supply Calipari with a seemingly endless amount of NIL money for recruiting and programming - with $5 million annually being a great start.

  • He didn’t have this level of NIL money at Kentucky??

    • With major basketball programs needing $1-4 million per season to be competitive with recruiting, I’m honestly surprised he didn’t have this funding already.

      • Given that UK is a blue blood basketball program, along with strong support from the fanbase (monetarily and otherwise), I felt Calipari should have had this type of money for the past 1-2 seasons. (Although the Wildcats going 1-4 in their last 5 NCAA Tournament appearances may have soured fans on donating money to support the players.)

Student-athletes: Post more content to boost NIL deals

You don’t need to post every day, but a regular cadence is helpful. Check out this video for more!

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