The NCAA recently implemented the so-called Rich Paul Rule, which requires agents looking to represent student-athletes to have obtained at least a bachelor's degree, among other criteria.
The NCAA subsequently issued a statement on its new policy Wednesday:
According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, the new rules require not only a bachelor's degree but also at least three years of NBPA certification as well as an in-person exam at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis.
Per Jeff Borzello of ESPN, agents must also "agree to cooperate with the NCAA in connection with its investigation and analysis of possible rules violations, even if the alleged violations are unrelated to [their] NCAA-agent certification."
The NCAA said in a memo the new rules, which went into effect on Aug. 1, were implemented "to protect the collegiate eligibility" of the student-athletes, via The Athletic's Sam Vecenie:
Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie
Here is the memo that was sent to agents yesterday regarding the new rules for representing clients that are “testing the waters for the NBA Draft.” The NCAA refers to it as “protecting the eligibility of their client athletes.” Yeah, this is a bad look for the NCAA. https://t.co/JhzN1c6NyJ
The new rules got the attention of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, who went from high school straight to the NBA, and the Oklahoma City Thunder's Chris Paul:
It's worth noting that, per Rothstein, the new rules exclude Klutch Sports' Rich Paul, who does not have a bachelor's degree. Paul has a number of high-profile clients, including James, Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, John Wall and Ben Simmons.
As Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix pointed out, Paul has taken the basketball world by storm without a degree:
Chris Mannix @SIChrisMannix
Whatever you think of an agent like Rich Paul, the suggestion he would be more qualified if he had a bachelor's degree is ludicrous. Life/work experience is what makes a good agent. Would all agents be better if they took economics classes and spent four years playing beer pong?
The new rules could potentially prevent agents from signing the top NBA prospects in the future. Then again, it's also possible the top talent won't be going the NCAA route at some point down the road.
Back in February, USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt reported the NBA officially proposed a rule change that would lower the draft-eligibility age down to 18 years old. Not to mention the fact that notable recruits RJ Hampton and Kenyon Martin Jr. have opted to head overseas rather than play in the NCAA, which could ultimately lead to others following in their footsteps.