It’s hard not to agree with what Michael Rosenberg says here –
“All the agents should really need is NBPA certification; if the players’ union trusts an agent, the NCAA should, to. But the bachelor’s degree requirement is what stops you. It is already becoming known as the “Rich Paul rule” because Paul, who represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and other high-profile players, does not own a bachelor’s degree.
If this looks like a ridiculous decision directed at Paul, guess what? It’s much worse than that.”
When I first saw the bachelor’s degree requirement, I wasn’t really thinking about Rich Paul, mostly because I don’t really follow NBA players and their agents and didn’t even know that about Paul.
What was my first thought? “Man what a racket!”.
Because, after all, in order to get a bachelor’s degree, you have to pay a whole lot of money to a college, and attend classes, etc. The same colleges that get to decide who can, and who cannot, be certified to represent players looking at their draft prospects.
That seems a little close to mafia behavior for my tastes.
“Nice player agency you got here, be a darned shame if something happened to it, but if you pay us for protection (tuition), we can make sure nothing bad happens.”
Maybe I spent too much time watching mob movies though.
It is, however, as Michael points out, a bit rich to proclaim the need for a bachelor’s degree to be part of the NCAA system, when you’re likely going to be advising kids who everyone knows aren’t going to graduate. If the degree is that valued and college sports is just a tool in the overall educational path leading to that degree, no one would have recruited Zion Williamson, because he was never going to be in college for more than one year. (At least on his basketball scholarship) Zion at Duke, and a whole bunch of other kids at other schools, was always going to be a one year, win now, deal. Zion went to Duke so Duke could win basketball games. Period. Getting a degree was never even a consideration.
Why then, would the NCAA make it a requirement for an agent to help advise Zion after his one year of basketball at Duke?
Just because they don’t like Rich Paul? Or because they don’t like the idea of people being successful without the need of a college education in general?
Either way, it’s a bullying move mad by an organization that’s ethically bankrupt.