X

Draymond Green: NCAA 'Did What Was Right' in Reversing 'Rich Paul Rule'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2019

Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (23) walks to the sideline past head coach Steve Kerr, right, during the first half of Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Friday, May 10, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The NCAA recently reversed a rule that would have required agents to have a bachelor's degree in order to complete their certification process, instead mandating agents only need to "be in good standing with the National Basketball Players Association," according to Mark Schlabach of ESPN. 

Part of the backlash over the rule was that super-agent Rich Paul didn't finish college. And Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green feels the NCAA backpedaling on its proposed change was the right move.

"They did what was right. Rich applied that pressure to them, though," he told TMZ Sports. "... I just feel like it wasn't really gonna affect Rich, but it was gonna affect the next Rich."

Just hours before the NCAA amended the certification standards, Paul decried the organizing body's decision in an op-ed for The Athletic:

"Requiring a four-year degree accomplishes only one thing—systematically excluding those who come from a world where college is unrealistic. Does anyone really believe a four-year degree is what separates an ethical person from a con artist?

"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. 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."

He wasn't alone in being critical of the rule:

Chris Paul @CP3

I COMPLETELY disagree with the NCAA’s decision. Some life experiences are as valuable, if not more, than diplomas... Y’all need to rethink this process. This is crazy!

LeBron James @KingJames

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop! They BIG MAD 😡 and Scared 😱. Nothing will stop this movement and culture over here. Sorry! Not sorry. 😁✌🏾

Kevin Hart @KevinHart4real

The world is so afraid of ground breakers....This is beyond sad & major B.S.....Keep shining @RichPaul4 ....This only makes you stronger....what you have built is unbelievable champ.... #TheRichPaulRule ....Shame on you NCAA

Rich Eisen @richeisen

You know who also didn’t graduate college? Steve Jobs. Peter Jennings. @TheEllenShow And so on. Imagine if people in their industries lobbied to make sure they couldn’t ply their crafts with some silly rule about needing a degree. Requiring Rich Paul to get a BA is BS. https://t.co/nSvGP8Ug9b

David Aldridge @davidaldridgedc

Good Lord, y’all scared of Rich Paul.

The rules were put in place alongside the NCAA's recent changes to college basketball players considering a jump to the NBA. Under the old rules, any player who hired an agent immediately lost eligibility. However, under the new rules players are allowed to hire agents and test the NBA waters and are allowed to return to college by a deadline if they don't like their pro prospects.

The NCAA was putting its new rules in place regarding the agents representing those players mulling their options. Per Schlabach, the NCAA will still require those prospective agents to have "NBPA certification for a minimum of three consecutive years, maintain professional liability insurance, complete the NCAA qualification exam and pay the required fees."

But the college degree will no longer be required, a direct response to the backlash it created, especially given Paul's stature in the NBA. The super agent represents players like Green, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, John Wall and Eric Bledsoe and has become a major power broker in the NBA.