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There may not be a bigger hater than the NCCA.

The NCAA this week added criteria to its rules about the agents student-athletes who are testing the draft waters can hire that some belief is 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.


That led LeBron James to tweet out #TheRichPaulRule followed by another tweet accusing an unspecified “they” of being “mad” and “scared.”

Paul is also one of James’ oldest friends, so when the NCAA implemented rule changes that could potentially limit Paul’s power and opportunities, James came directly to his defense.

Even comedian Kevin Hart had to take to Twitter to shame the NCAA.

The NBA and the NCAA have cultivated a working relationship over the years since most of the NBA’s top players have historically competed at Division I universities before entering professional waters. However, more options have recently opened up to circumvent the traditional route of NBA prospects playing in college, namely opportunities overseas, in the G League or in prep schools.

At this point, the NCAA might as well have said we don’t like player empowerment era and we don’t like megastars like James empowering their associates to become power players themselves.