Sports agent Rich Paul responded to the recent NCAA rule proclaiming that agents must have a bachelor's degree in order to work with NBA draft hopefuls with an op-ed in The Athletic published on Monday.
The new rule states that agent candidates must meet certain prerequisites, including having a bachelor's degree, and then go through an application process that includes a background check.
This latest rule on amateurism could have widespread impact in the future.
"Last week the NCAA added new criteria for agents who wanted to work with “student-athletes.” They must pass a test, have three years of experience, and have completed their college degree," Paul, whose client list includes NBA stars LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Ben Simmons, said. "The media is calling it “The Rich Paul Rule” that, while incredibly flattering, is not accurate. It has no impact on me or the business of Klutch Sports Group. However, it does have a significant impact on people like me and the NCAA should be called out for it."
Paul says the rule doesn't make sense, stating that life experience is just as good as earning a degree when it comes to representing athletes.
"Let’s also be clear that once the NCAA requires a four-year degree for athletes “testing the waters,” it’s only a matter of time until this idea is socialized, no longer questioned, and then more broadly applied," Paul said.
We all know how this works. Unfair policy is introduced incrementally so people accept it because it only affects a small group. Then the unfair policy quietly evolves into institutional policy. I’m not sure what the technical term is for that because I didn’t finish college but I know it when I see it."