Basketball: NCAA Rich Paul Rule?

The NCAA announced for no foreseen reason that it will be changing the criteria that an agent must possess to represent an underclassman who wants to test the draft waters. 

In 2018 the NCAA already changed the rule allowing for underclassmen to hire an agent and test the waters without ruining their eligibility. 

The new requirements are:

-Bachelors Degree 

-Certified with NBPA for a minimum of three years

-Take an in-person exam at the NCAA offices in Indianapolis 

-Submit to a background check 

Why is the NCAA doing this now? Two reasons. Reason number one “power” and reason number two “Rich Paul”.

The NCAA and their outdated student-athlete model have been under fire and scrutiny for a while. Recent rule changes made by the NCAA over the years have been a half-hearted attempt to right some of their wrongs. 

They have done everything from increase stipends for athletes to changing the rules for players looking to taste the draft waters without losing their eligibility. 

These rule changes were an attempt to appease the public while still holding on to the sham institution of amateurism. In the age of athlete empowerment especially in the NBA, the last thing the NCAA wants is empowered, free-thinking athletes. 

This rule change is an attempt to regain some of that power and keep the billion-dollar cash cow milking. 

The Rich Paul affect is now causing ripples across all avenues of sports and business. The rise of Rich Paul the agent/businessman has been both inspirational and motivational. 

Paul is African American from modest means that has worked his way into becoming one of the most powerful sports agents today.

He started out selling throwback jerseys out of the trunk of his car. That’s how his relationship with his top client LeBron James started. 

He worked with accomplished agent Leon Rose of CAA who served as LeBron James agent early on in his career. 

After learning the in and outs of the business  in 2012 Paul decided to leave Rose and CAA and start Klutch Agency and took LeBron James with him. 

Since then Paul has built Klutch into a powerhouse. His agency represents other top players such Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, John Wall, and Ben Simmons. 

This summer he decided to partner up with the top talent agency in the country United Talent Agency (UTA). He will still run Klutch, but will now oversee UTA’s sports department. 

Paul and his client James has spawned a movement that’s has a lot of people not only uncomfortable, but upset. He has shaken up the sports world, and is now dominating a field that has been dominated for years by white men. 

Paul has also made it his mission to empower players. He strives to help them maximize their earning potential on the court as well as off the court. 

Paul does not have a college degree, and this rule should not affect him negatively, but it is obvious that the powers that be are nervous that Paul’s success may inspire someone else to come in and do the same thing. With the NCAA adding a Bachelors Degree as a requirement it is painfully obvious this is a direct shot aimed at Paul.

Agents should have strict rules and guidelines to follow. It should not be easy anyone to become an agent. But with that being said before Rich Paul came along the NCAA did not make the qualifications this strict for agents.

This is quite the coincidence that now a person of Rich Paul’s ethnicity and social economic background has had major success, that now they want to come up with these absurd requirements. 

This is another example of the institutional and systematic racism that still exist in this country. Whenever a person of color makes strides in a field the rules of the game always seems to change. 

LeBron James took to Twitter to weigh in on the NCAA new requirements for agents. 

“Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop! They BIG MAD and Scared. Nothing will stop this movement and culture over here. Sorry! Not sorry”

This is a huge mistake for the NCAA. They continue to make amendments to fix a broke dysfunctional system. All they have to do is the obvious, and that’s pay players that drive revenue. Regardless of sport, or gender just allow these athletes to earn a living and stop hiding behind amateurism. 

Stay tune in the age of social change and player empowerment more rule changes could be coming, but for now one man has definitely made a huge impact on a powerful system.