The NCAA drew outrage last week for requiring a college degree from every prospective agent. 

By Michael Shapiro
August 12, 2019

The NCAA amended its agent certification requirements on Monday after backlash regarding its bachelor's degree requirement for all prospective agents.

Popularly dubbed the "Rich Paul Rule" after Klutch Sports Group agent Rich Paul, the NCAA instituted a policy last week that required all agents must meet certain prerequisites–including having a bachelor's degree–to serve as an agent. Paul and others criticized the new rule, claiming its criteria disadvantages certain prospective agents.

"The harmful consequences of this decision will ricochet onto others who are trying to break in. NCAA executives are once again preventing young people from less prestigious backgrounds, and often people of color, from working in the system they continue to control," Paul said in an op-ed for The Athletic on Monday. "In this case, the people being locked out are kids who aspire to be an agent and work in the NBA and do not have the resources, opportunity or desire to get a four-year degree.

The NCAA released its amended rules for agent certification on Monday. All agents who do not have a degree can still work with athletes if they are certified by the NBPA and complete a liability insurance exam.

"We have been made aware of several current agents who have appropriately represented former student-athletes in their professional quest and whom the National Basketball Players Association has granted waivers of its bachelor’s degree requirement," the NCAA said in a statement. While specific individuals were not considered when developing our process, we respect the NBPA’s determination of qualification and have amended our certification criteria."

Paul began his career working with Creative Arts Agency in 2006. He left CAA in 2012 to start Klutch Sports, and has been LeBron James' agent since.

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