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New NCAA agent rules believed to intentionally exclude NBA super agent Rich Paul

Yahoo! Sports logo Yahoo! Sports 8/6/2019 Jason Owens
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The NCAA has new rules regarding student-athlete eligibility. And many believe that they’re aimed squarely at one prominent NBA agent — Klutch Sports’ Rich Paul.

The NCAA has reportedly set new criteria for agents that it allows student athletes to consult as they test the waters for turning pro.

NCAA requires agents to have bachelor’s degree

NCAA basketball players are currently allowed to declare for the draft and hire an agent as a consultant and still maintain their college eligibility if they decide against the move to turn pro.

On Tuesday, CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported that the NCAA placed eligibility restrictions on who qualifies to represent those prospective NBA players. One of those rules disqualifies Paul.

Paul doesn’t have degree

Paul doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree. He famously built his career after he met LeBron James at the Cleveland airport while selling throwback jerseys out of his car. James bought some of his jerseys, and the two built a friendship and professional relationship.

Now Paul represents James, Anthony Davis, Draymond Green and Ben Simmons among several other high-profile NBA clients.

Did NCAA target Paul?

But per the new NCAA rule, he is not eligible to advise NCAA players who wish to maintain their college eligibility.

Did the NCAA specifically have Paul in mind when they set these new criteria? Who knows? It’s unclear why the NCAA would specifically target Paul.

The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie obtained a copy of the NCAA memo detailing the new requirements, confirming the original report.

From the memo:

“All applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree, be in good standing with the NBPA, have been NBPA certified for a minimum of three consecutive years and maintain professional liability insurance.”

That clearly excludes Paul, whether he was an intended target or not.

What is clear is that the NCAA is flexing more power over student athletes, which the organization refers to in the memo under these circumstances as “athlete clients” in the context of their relationship with prospective agents.

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