Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 26 No. 90
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

NCAA Criticized For Bachelor's Degree Requirement For Agents

The NCAA has issued a memo to agents "outlining new certification requirements to represent players testing the NBA draft waters" that requires them to have a "bachelor's degree, NBPA certification for at least three consecutive years, professional liability insurance and completion of an in-person exam taken at the NCAA office," according to Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com. The bachelor's degree requirement has "led some to refer to it as the 'Rich Paul Rule.'" Paul began working with LeBron James a couple of years after high school and "didn't graduate from college." Therefore, Paul "wouldn't be able to represent underclassmen testing the NBA draft waters" (ESPN.com, 8/6). USA TODAY's Andrew Joseph wrote the new rule was a "not-so-subtle attempt to shut one of the most powerful NBA agents out of the NCAA's world, and sports fans blasted the organization for that." James responded on social media and "called out the NCAA" (USA TODAY, 8/6). In N.Y., Michael Blinn notes it is "unclear if the NCAA was specifically trying to target Paul with the measures, though that hasn't stopped James and other NBA players from insinuating that's the case" (N.Y. POST, 8/7). FS1’s Nick Wright said having a bachelor's degree "should not be a prerequisite for basically any field other than law or medicine." The requirement "won’t effect" Paul, anyways, because plenty of other agents at his Klutch Sports "have a degree." Wright: "This is about targeting the next Rich Paul and preventing the next Rich Paul from becoming the most powerful agent in basketball as Rich has" (“First Things First,” FS1, 8/7).

JOB TRAINING: YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Wetzel wrote Paul "clearly doesn’t need" a bachelor's degree to "effectively do his job." The requirement alone is "illogical." Getting a diploma has "no correlation to whether someone can be a good agent." It also "doesn't signify business ethics." Players should be able to "hire whomever they want if they are trying to figure out their future." The decision should be "between the player and the agent." The NCAA should have "nothing to do with it" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/6). ESPN's Mike Golic Jr. noted the NCAA is "responsible for making sure that the rules are certainly followed," so these are things they "absolutely should be doing." However, the "bachelor's degree thing is a joke." ESPN's Mike Golic: "Haven't we seen enough people who don't have a bachelor's degree and now you're tying this to a bachelor's degree to talk to the players that are thinking of going to the NBA?" ("Golic & Wingo," ESPN Radio, 8/7).