A lot has been made of the NCAA introducing new criteria for agents who want to represent student-athletes testing the NBA Draft waters, and many are calling it “The Rich Paul Rule.” On Monday, the man who allegedly inspired the rule issued a lengthy response.
Paul, who represents LeBron James and several other NBA stars, wrote a guest column for The Athletic in which he began by saying he does not believe the new criteria were put in place specifically for him. However, he was highly critical of the NCAA for thinking agents who have a four-year degree are any more qualified to represent young athletes than those who don’t, such as himself.
“I actually support requiring three years of experience before representing a kid testing the market. I can even get behind passing a test,” Paul wrote. “However, requiring a four-year degree accomplishes only one thing — systematically excluding those who come from a world where college is unrealistic.”
James, took to Twitter to show support for his guy as he retweeted a quote from the article and simply said: “StayWokeFolks.” It’s clear that James and Paul feel as though there is a bigger intention at play here and they will stop at nothing until something is done about it.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 12, 2019
The NCAA has defended its reasoning behind the new policy, so it does not sound like it is going to change. At least one NBA executive has also denied that the new rules were created for Paul, but many feel what happened between Paul and former Syracuse commit Darius Bazley helped inspire the change. Even if it wasn’t the primary motivation, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t a factor.