NCAA Drops "Rich Paul Rule" Requirements After Facing Backlash
The NCAA has backed away from new criteria it had "imposed on agents representing college basketball players considering the NBA draft, dropping the requirement for a bachelor’s degree that had irked several of the game’s stars," according to Billy Witz of the N.Y. TIMES. Instead, the NCAA said that it will "adopt regulations" used by the NBPA to "certify agents -- including an option to grant waivers for any prospective agent who does not have a bachelor’s degree." When the NCAA announced the regulations last week, many saw the change as "taking aim" at Klutch Sports Group's Rich Paul, who does not have a bachelor’s degree. Paul "addressed the certification process" yesterday in an op-ed for The Athletic. Paul wrote that the degree requirement would effectively deter “young people from less prestigious backgrounds, and often people of color” from representing professional basketball players. The NCAA announced the rules amendment "several hours after Paul’s commentary was posted" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/13).
STANDING UP: In N.Y., Dennis Young writes it is "hard to see the specific changes" to the requirements for agents as anything but the "consideration of one specific individual who does not have a bachelor’s degree" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/13). In Newark, Todderick Hunt writes, "Paul’s voice was heard, as well as many others around the NBA, forging fair practice moving forward" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 8/13). In DC, Ava Wallace writes the amendments "appear to be a response to a week’s worth of pushback from agents and prominent voices in college sports" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/13). ESPN’s Rachel Nichols said the NCAA reversing its decision was "easy to see coming, as this was doing the right thing and it didn’t make a lot of sense in the first place" (“The Jump,” ESPN, 8/12). ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser said the rule had an "elitist quality" to it and had the potential for one to "say this might be race-based." Kornheiser: "I don’t think you want to have either of those things in play"(“PTI,” ESPN, 8/12).