Klutch Sports Group founder and CEO Rich Paul is weighing in with his thoughts on the new NCAA agent provisions which are being referred to as the “Rich Paul Rule”, expressing concerns that the new rules will have a much greater impact.
Recently, a memo outlining the new criteria for any and all agents interested in representing prospects who intend to test the NBA Draft process have the following boxes checked; a bachelor’s degree, National Basketball Players Association (NBA) certification for at least three consecutive years, professional liability insurance and the completion of an in-person exam taken in early November at the NCAA office in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Paul sees the new outline as problematic, and penned a response in an op-ed posted on The Athletic on Monday.
“The harmful consequences of this decision will ricochet onto others who are trying to break in. NCAA executives are once again preventing young people from less prestigious backgrounds, and often people of color, from working in the system they continue to control. In this case, the people being locked out are kids who aspire to be an agent and work in the NBA and do not have the resources, opportunity, or desire to get a four-year degree” Paul wrote.
“I actually support requiring three years of experience before representing a kid testing the market. I can even get behind passing a test. However, 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?”
Paul then pointed to Darius Bazley, who landed a $1 million internship at New Balance and spent the year training for the NBA Draft, forgoing plans to play in the G League, the NBA’s developmental system.
“To be honest, I have no idea whether the NCAA adopted the new rule specifically because of my work with Darius Bazley, as people have speculated, or if it is because they know there are more and more people like me fighting for their chance and challenging this antiquated system,” Paul said.
“When I travel back to neighborhoods like the inner city of Greater Cleveland where I’m from, young black kids tell me that they see my career as another path for them out of their troubled surroundings,” Paul said. “They want to grow up to do what I do. That inspires me.”
Paul offered alternatives to the new outline.
“Why [doesn’t the NCAA] partner with universities on a one-year program for agents who don’t meet their requirements but want to learn the business? Or work with existing agents who play by the rules to help mentor those who are trying to ‘break in?'”