The NCAA has instituted new rules that have changed the criteria for agents dealing with underclassmen that have led most people to call it the “Rich Paul” rule.
Rich Paul Has Shaken Up the Establishment
For anyone who thought Rich Paul‘s influence only extended to the NBA, the new NCAA rule regarding agents shows you that college basketball is scared too. On Tuesday they introduced new agent criteria that has led most people to refer to it as the “Rich Paul Rule”. Essentially the NCAA’s new rule will allow players who declare for the NBA draft to hire and agent as an “adviser” and still keep their college eligibility.
The catch is that the agent in question must have a Bachelor’s degree among other things. The fact that Rich Paul does not have such a degree does not seem like a coincidence. LeBron James certainly thinks the rule is made specifically for his agent and he let the world know his feelings on social media.
Rich Paul Got Darius Bazley Paid
If anyone is looking for a reason the NCAA would single out Rich Paul with their new rule, look no further than Darius Bazley. As one of the top high school players in the country, the NCAA is upset that he is not going to be playing college basketball. Instead he worked at New Balance as an intern where he received a $1 million salary. While idea of paying a kid out of high school $1 million dollars to work in the marketing, digital and footwear departments might seem like a stretch, it’s actually a great marketing move.
New Balance is trying to make its mark in the basketball market and this deal let’s everyone know that they are here. Bazley’s deal has performance incentives that could see him earn up to $14 million. Last October the G-League made the announcement that they would pay up to $125,000 to elite high prospects that didn’t want to play college basketball. While that seems like a lot of money, the best high school players have found their own alternatives.
RJ Hampton Showed That It’s Bigger than Rich Paul
When RJ Hampton decided to forgo his college eligibility to go play in the Australian league, that was another sign of the backlash against the NCAA. Hampton was the No.5 ranked high school player in the country and is essentially the first player to be eligible for colleg eand choose to play overseas instead. When Brandon Jennings and Emmanuel Mudiay did it, they had issues with eligibility.
The NCAA is fighting a Loosing Battle
In the next few years, college basketball will look very different than it does today. The NBA has already proposed changing the “One and Done” rule by as early as 2021. That would mean that the best high school players will no longer need to go to college for a year. Someone like Zion Williamson had no business risking his health playing college basketball.
That’s what makes this “Rich Paul Rule” so puzzling. What was the point of putting up a rule for something they know will change very shortly? They already look like the bad guys in the court of public opinion. Regardless the NCAA won’t have to worry about it much longer because elite high school players will no longer need to play there anymore in the next couple of years.