According to USA Today, the NCAA has announced changes to its “approved” agent criteria.
NBA Draft-declared players are now allowed to hire agents in an adviser role and still preserve their NCAA eligibility. That criteria included an educational requirement of a Bachelor’s degree. The move is thought to be in response to agent Rich Paul who as of late has been re-writing the rules to how players manage their value and impact on college sports. Most recently Paul’s negotiated a deal a deal worth up $14 million between his client Darius Bazley and New Balance. In the deal, Bazely would intern at the company for 3 months in addition to training and a guaranteed $1 million with added incentives to earn more. Bazely was able to forego playing in the NCAA and the NBA G-League and was still drafted as the 23rd pick overall in the 2019 NBA draft. Proving that you don’t need the NCAA to get to the league, and you can retain ownership of your player value rather than be a broke college student as the NCAA makes billions off of your talent.
Moves like that threaten the institution that is college sports. It’s likely that the new agent criteria is the NCAA’s strike back at Rich Paul who does not qualify since he doesn’t have a Bachelor’s degree. LeBron James wasted no time sounding off on the NCAA along with pro ballers.