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#pounditWednesday, January 20, 2021

NCAA changes ‘Rich Paul Rule,’ removes degree requirement

Rich Paul

The NCAA created a great deal of controversy recently when it implemented new criteria for agents who are representing student-athletes who want to test the NBA Draft waters, and the rule has already been changed.

On Monday, the NCAA amended a key portion of the new guidelines. Whereas before it was mandatory that any agent representing a player who is testing the NBA Draft must have a college degree, agents now have to either have a bachelor’s degree or be certified by the NBA Players Association.

That is a key distinction, and it was almost certainly added because of the backlash the NCAA received for supposedly targeting NBA superagent Rich Paul. Paul, who represents LeBron James and numerous other star players, has quickly become one of the most powerful agents in sports. He does not have a college degree.

Paul wrote a guest column for The Athletic on Monday in which he criticized the NCAA for creating barriers for young people who do not have the means or desire to attend college. He also said he supported the part of the new rule that requires agents to have three years of experience.

Many believe the situation with Paul and former Syracuse recruit Darius Bazley was part of the inspiration behind the NCAA introducing new criteria, but removing the college degree requirement changes things quite a bit.

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