Skip to main content

NCAA Ups Criteria for Agents of Players Testing NBA Draft Waters

Here's the upped criteria for agents looking to work with NCAA players testing the NBA draft waters.

The NCAA issued new rules on amateurism and the NBA draft that started earlier in 2019, and part of those allowed NCAA players who declared for the draft to hire agents before the draft to test the waters and maintain eligibility.

But the NCAA is now instituting an agent certification program that will start in August. So in order for students testing the draft to be represented by an agent, that agent must be NCAA-certified.

CBS Sports’s Jon Rothstein first reported the criteria, but the list appears on an NCAA agent certification site. Candidates must meet prerequisites, then go through an application process that includes a background check, exam, fees and other steps.

When Rothstein first reported the criteria earlier Tuesday, Twitter users felt the rule was in response to Rich Paul—LeBron James's agent, who founded Klutch Sports Group. His clients include Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, Draymond Green and more, and he's helped reshape the NBA with his deals. Paul does not have a bachelor's degree, a requirement under the new certification.

According to a memo from the NCAA to agents that The Athletic's Sam Vecenie obtained, the NCAA referred to the motivation for such changes as a response to "protect the collegiate eligibility of their athlete clients."

The Prerequisites:

Have a bachelor's degree

Have been NBPA certified for at least three consecutive years and be in good-standing

Maintain professional liability insurance

Submit application by appropriate deadline

The Application Process:

Register Online in the NCAA Agent Certification System (ACS)

Submit Application to NCAA: This includes a successful background check and paying a nonrefundable application fee of $250. According to the site, the fee is required annually.

NCAA Review of Application

Notification of Eligibility to Take the In-Person Exam

In-Person Exam (or continuing education requirement)

Pay Certification Fee of $1250 (annually)

Reapply the following year using the same ACS user account