NCAA issues rules for agents; LeBron responds

NBA

The NCAA issued a memo to agents Monday, outlining new certification requirements to represent players testing the NBA draft waters.

In the memo, obtained by ESPN, the NCAA outlined new criteria for agents: a bachelor’s degree, NBPA certification for at least three consecutive years, professional liability insurance and completion of an in-person exam taken at the NCAA office in Indianapolis in early November.

The bachelor’s degree requirement has led some to refer to it as the “Rich Paul Rule.” Paul, who represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and Draymond Green, among others, and recently brought his Klutch Sports Group under the United Talent Agency umbrella, began working with James a couple of years after high school and didn’t graduate from college.

According to the new NCAA criteria, Paul wouldn’t be able to represent underclassmen testing the NBA draft waters.

James weighed in on the new certification requirements via social media Tuesday.

Agents also will need to fill out an application and clear a background check.

In the application, sources told ESPN, agents are also required to agree that they will cooperate with the NCAA in investigations of rules violations, “even if the alleged violations are unrelated to [their] NCAA-agent certification.”

“Men’s basketball student-athletes who are considering careers in professional basketball but who may want to return to school are only permitted to accept permissible agent services from NCAA-certified agents with a signed agent agreement,” the memo stated. “It is important to remember that a men’s basketball student-athlete cannot enter into an agent agreement until after his team’s season has concluded, and the student-athlete has requested an evaluation from the NBA undergrad advisory committee.”

Agents who complete the application and background check will take the in-person exam on Nov. 6, the day after the college basketball season begins with the Champions Classic in New York.

Agents who meet every requirement besides the three-year NBPA certification can receive an exception if the student-athlete they represented this past spring decided to return to school.

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