NCAA Reverses Course on “Rich Paul Rule” Amid Backlash

Named for LeBron's agent, the rule would require agents advising prospective NBA players to have degrees

LeBron James and Rich Paul spoke out against the "Rich Paul Rule."
LeBron James and Rich Paul sit courtside at NBA Summer League. (Cassy Athena/Getty)
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By Evan Bleier / August 12, 2019 4:55 pm

A new NCAA policy revealed last week that seemed to discriminate against certain power brokers within pro basketball has already been amended.

Dubbed the “Rich Paul Rule” in honor of LeBron James’ agent, the new regulation would have required agents advising prospective NBA players to have college degrees.

But, after facing backlash and criticism from players in the NBA ranging from Chris Paul to James as well as journalists who cover basketball, the NCAA has already amended its policy.

Under the amended rule, agents advising players who are deciding whether to stay in school or enter the NBA draft will have to be in good standing with the NBA Players Association but will not be required to have a bachelor’s degree.

“We are committed to providing student-athletes who are deciding whether to stay in school or explore NBA draft options with access to a wide array of resources to make their decision,” the NCAA said in a statement on Monday. “NCAA member schools developed the new agent certification process to accomplish that goal and reflect our higher education mission. However, we have been made aware of several current agents who have appropriately represented former student-athletes in their professional quest and whom the National Basketball Players Association has granted waivers of its bachelor’s degree requirement.”

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