Players should get paid: Kentucky coach Calipari

Fixing the NCAA: Coach Calipari
Fixing the NCAA: Coach Calipari

Top-level college athletes on scholarship should also be allowed to receive additional pay in the form of stipends to help make ends meet, Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari told CNBC on Wednesday.

"If you're lower or middle income, you get no grants. You get no financial-need aid. None of that. If you're really poor, you'll get grants to get you by. But not those kids in the middle income," he said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "My thing is: there's a cost of attendance. What is it $3,000 to $5,000? I don't know what it is, but these kids deserve that."

Calipari said he's been pushing for that and other changes in outdated NCAA rules to benefit student-athletes, and has detailed his suggestions in a new book "Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out."

In the book, he wrote:

"The situation reminds me a little of the Soviet Union in its last years. 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."

Last week, Calipari's University of Kentucky Wildcats lost in the championship game at the end of March Madness to the University of Connecticut Huskies 54-60.

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—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere.