When the NCAA introduced a new rule that will require agents to have a bachelors degree in order to represent potential NBA draft prospects that leave school early, the backlash was swift and almost universal.
It was quickly dubbed the “Rich Paul Rule,” referencing the super agent that rose to prominence after meeting LeBron James selling throwback jerseys and rose the ranks to eventually start Klutch Sports, which now represents some of the league’s top players. LeBron called out the NCAA for targeting Paul and others like him, and on Monday, Paul penned an op-ed that pointed out that it won’t effect him, but is meant to restrict access for those looking to follow his path.
After initially digging their heels in about the rule, the NCAA has realized that the rule was, at the least, a bad look and, more hopefully, recognized the error of their ways. On Monday afternoon they announced an amendment to the rule that is more in line with how the NBPA handles agents, which is to allow those without a college degree to serve as an agent provided they are certified and in good standing with the NBPA.
The NCAA in their statement insisted “specific individuals were not considered when developing our process, we respect the NBPA’s determination of qualification and have amended our certification criteria.” It is the right move for the NCAA to make, but should’ve been how they handled it all along. There was never a reason to be more restrictive than the NBPA and all it got them was a week-long PR disaster including the most famous basketball player in the world torching them (again).