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#pounditMonday, November 30, 2020

Did the NCAA add an anti-Rich Paul agent rule?

Rich Paul

Did the NCAA create a new rule for agents that is aimed specifically at Rich Paul? That sure seems to be the case.

College basketball reporter Jon Rothstein reported on Tuesday that the NCAA has added criteria for agents who want to represent student-athletes testing the NBA Draft market. The criteria includes requiring agents to have a bachelor’s degree, be certified with the NBPA for a minimum of three years, and take an in-person exam at the NCAA Office in Indianapolis.

Why would they create such a rule? Well, there might be some thinking that instituting such minimum requirements would help protect student-athletes from being advised by unqualified representatives. Another way to look at it is they’re trying to restrict agents like Rich Paul from emerging by making aspiring agents jump through more and more hoops.

Paul is the founder of Klutch Sports and best known for representing LeBron James. He has grown into much more since starting Klutch Sports in 2012 and has become a game-changing agent viewed as someone who will help empower an athlete to do what’s best for themselves. At the same time, he appears to also value professionalism and commitments. He recently sold a stake in Klutch Sports to Hollywood talent agency United Talent Agency. His client list includes about 25 NBA players like Ben Simmons, Draymond Green and John Wall in addition to LeBron. He’s built all of this despite not having a college degree. Not having a degree means Paul wouldn’t be able to represent a player who is testing the draft waters and considering a return to school.

If Paul has accomplished as much as he has without a college degree, why would the NCAA require three years of certification and a college degree for someone to represent a student-athlete testing the waters? LeBron James didn’t need a college degree to get where he did. Nor did Kobe Bryant. And clearly Paul didn’t either. Such a restriction seems to be a play by existing agents to keep out potential competition.

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