The NCAA amended its certification process for agents on Monday after drawing criticism for what was dubbed as the “Rich Paul Rule.”
The NCAA said last week that agents representing players deciding whether to stay in college or leave for the NBA would have to possess a bachelor’s degree. On Monday, that policy was changed and now agents who don’t have a B.A. degree will be required to be in good standing with the NBA Players Association.
“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.”
Last week’s decision drew criticism as some agents didn’t attend college. The requirement of the bachelor’s degree led to the belief it might be aimed at Paul, who doesn’t have a college degree but represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Draymond Green and Ben Simmons among other NBA players.
Monday’s reversal came on the same day in which Paul slammed the NCAA in The Athletic.
“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,” Paul wrote. “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.”
James sharply criticized the NCAA after last week’s ruling as well.
The NCAA denied that Paul was targeted in the initial decision.
“While specific individuals were not considered when developing our process, we respect the NBPA’s determination of qualification and have amended our certification criteria,” the NCAA said.