LeBron James is calling out the NCAA for its new criteria for agents of NBA draft hopefuls.
The NCAA already issued new rules on amateurism and the NBA draft in 2019, and part of those allowed NCAA players who declared for the draft to hire agents before the event to test the waters and maintain eligibility. But the NCAA is now instituting an agent certification program that will start in August, requiring students testing the draft waters to be represented by a NCAA-certified agent.
CBS Sports’s Jon Rothstein first reported the criteria, but the list appears on an NCAA agent certification site. Candidates must meet prerequisites, including having a bachelor's degree, and then go through an application process that includes a background check, exam, fees and other steps.
After news of the certification broke on Tuesday, Twitter users felt the rule was in response to Rich Paul—James's agent, who founded Klutch Sports Group. Paul's helped reshape the NBA with his deals, and his client list includes Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, Draymond Green and more. However, Paul does not have a bachelor's degree.
James weighed in on Twitter on the new rule by first sharing the simple message "#TheRichPaulRule." He later called the NCAA "BIG MAD and Scared" and said, "Nothing will stop this movement and culture over here."
While he's not happy about the news, at least it sounds like James won't let the new criteria ruin his mood or Taco Tuesday.