The NCAA this week added criteria to its rules about the agents student-athletes who are testing the draft waters can hire that some believe are targeted at NBA superagent Rich Paul.
The new criteria state an agent must have a bachelor’s degree, be certified with the NBAPA for at least three years, and take an exam at the NCAA Office to be eligible to provide advice to such players. Paul has over 25 NBA players as clients and has negotiated hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts despite not having a bachelor’s degree. Yet this rule would prevent him — and any other agent who falls short of the qualifications — from being able to advise such fringe draft prospects.
Though the rule seems to be in place to help ensure student-athletes are receiving high-quality advice from experienced agents, it also has a discriminatory effect. Why box out agents like Paul, who has clearly demonstrated his ability to represent his clients well? An experienced agent who is a college graduate is just as able to provide bad advice or lie to a prospective client as an agent who did not graduate from college and only has two years being certified.
Those who believe the rule is targeted at Paul view the Darius Bazley situation as part of the NCAA’s motivation.
Bazley was a five-star recruit from the class of 2018 and originally committed to Jim Boeheim’s program at Syracuse. He signed a Letter of Intent to play at Syracuse in Nov. 2017 but announced in March 2018 that he would go straight to the G League instead. This left Boeheim upset. Interestingly, Bazley never went to the G League. Instead, he signed with Paul’s Klutch Sports.