Early in the week, the NCAA issued a set of rules and criteria for NBA agents. The rules are set in place for players seeking representation ahead of the NBA draft. The NCAA has long had a problem of players being prematurely approached by agents looking to woo the young talent into signing with them. The agents then cash in on the ignorance of the young athlete, who is unaware of the business culture of the sport at that time.
The rule changes include the following criteria: 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 in Indianapolis in early November.
The set of rules and criteria seem to be a direct shot at Klutch Sports agent Rich Paul, who represents prominent basketball players and teammates LeBron James and Anthony Davis, along with a list of other multiple star players.
The reason it has been speculated the NCAA is taking a direct shot at Paul is because of the bachelor’s degree requirement. Paul never graduated from college, as he was childhood friends with James. The two met up after James made his rise among the NBA elite early in his career. Recently, Paul has brought his Klutch Sports Group under the umbrella of the United Talent Agency.
With the new rule in place, Paul won’t be able to represent underclassmen players looking for representation ahead of the draft.
James spoke out against the new rules on Twitter, dubbing the rule as the “Rich Paul rule”. The recent handling of the Davis situation has seemingly left a sour taste in the mouth of fans and officials alike. Both the NCAA and NBA seem to cooperate to limit the power held by individual players and their agents.