The NCAA has decided to back down on its college education requirement for what has been dubbed the ‘Rich Paul Rule’. Previously, the NCAA was trying to institute a policy where agents representing players who were exploring the market in the NBA draft would need to have a bachelor’s.
That’s no longer the case, but the NCAA will no doubt try to find other ways to keep its assets — unpaid college athletes — under their control for as long as possible.
Meanwhile, Adam Silver things that Paul is doing things just fine. Speaking on The Jump this week, the NBA commissioner said that the Klutch Sports head honcho is a perfect example of how someone outside of the normal college-to-agency path can succeed.
Via The Jump:
“I think Rich has more than demonstrated that he’s a professional negotiator, and that he’s a highly-trained and competent agent. I think the best way would be to say there are exceptions that can be made and he’s a perfect example of that.”
“I didn’t even know all about Rich’s background until I read a long feature on him in Sports Illustrated recently. I knew a little bit about his background and how he met LeBron [James] and their other group that work together… but it’s a classic sort of American rags to riches story, in essence. What he’s overcome in his life — difficult circumstances — and be the success he is today demonstrates that there are other paths to success. A traditional one is through college, but certainly for the league, and I can’t speak for the NCAA, we want to ensure people from all walks of life can be successful in our system.”
The NCAA was trying to implement this rule because of what Paul did with a former top Syracuse prospect, Darius Bazley. Instead of heading to New York state, Bazley decided to head to New Balance and work with the shoe company on a $1 million internship (tied to his future NBA prospects, of course).
Now their rule is stripped of its most vicious restriction, and Paul can continue to do whatever he wants. Of course, given that Paul runs a whole agency, that was always going to be the case anyway, but more power to the NCAA for flubbing up an entire implementation of a biased rule and turning it into a PR storm.