The NCAA is good at two things: making itself a whole lot of money on the backs of unpaid athletes, and passing rules that lead to everyone raising their eyebrows. The latest example of that second thing came on Tuesday afternoon, when Jon Rothstein revealed one of the NCAA’s newest rules about agents who advise underclassmen testing the draft waters.
Sources: The NCAA has officially added criteria for agents who wish to represent student athletes testing the waters for the NBA Draft.
– Bachelor's Degree
– Certified with NBPA for a minimum of three years
– Take an in-person exam at the NCAA Office in Indianapolis
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) August 6, 2019
It’s hard not to read this and believe this is an attempt to prevent specific agents from giving athletes guidance as the go through the pre-draft process — last year, the NCAA changed up its rules so underclassmen could go through the process with the guidance of an agent and maintain their eligibility, so long as they end that relationship should they choose to return to school. We saw it happen this year, as a number of college basketball players tested the waters before making an ultimate decision. Stadium kept track of this, and of the 91 of the 177 qualifying players decided to return to school.
Sam Vecenie of The Athletic acquired the letter that the NCAA sent out regarding this rule change.
Here is the memo that was sent to agents yesterday regarding the new rules for representing clients that are “testing the waters for the NBA Draft.”
The NCAA refers to it as “protecting the eligibility of their client athletes.”
Yeah, this is a bad look for the NCAA. pic.twitter.com/JhzN1c6NyJ
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) August 6, 2019
Having to pay $250 to get this certification in a specific window, then having to travel to Indianapolis to take a test on a specific day in November, is, of course, ridiculous. But the much bigger thing is how this is designed to keep agents who do not have a Bachelors Degree from advising kids without tanking their eligibility. As Vecenie points out, all this means is that players who want to speak to specific agents will just make the jump to the NBA as opposed to going through the process while preserving their eligibility.
You may have noticed how vaguely we’ve referenced “specific agents” a few times in this post. Most of the Twitterverse has caught onto what, exactly, this means, but we’ll let this ESPN story from 2012 identify the guy for whom this rule seems directed towards.
— Rodney Dangerfield (@BashiirMoses) August 6, 2019
Weird how that works out!