New NCAA Rule On Agents Sounds Like ‘Sports Gerrymandering’. Twitter Goes Off

New NCAA Rule On Agents Sounds Like ‘Sports Gerrymandering’. Twitter Goes Off

LeBron James, center, talks with his agent, Rich Paul, left, and former high school teammate Brandon Weems, Aug. 7, 2009 in Cleveland. A new NCAA rule requiring a bachelor’s degree for agents is becoming known as the “Rich Paul rule” because Paul does not have one. (AP Photo/Jason Miller)

The National Collegiate Athletic Association issued new certification rules Monday for agents who want to represent student athletes interested in trying out for the NBA Draft, and Twitter went crazy.

Among the new rules, agents who represent student athletes must have a bachelor’s degree, National Basketball Players’ Association certification for at least three consecutive years, and take an in-person exam at the NCAA office in Indianapolis.

The changes are becoming known as the “Rich Paul rule” because Paul, who represents LeBron James and other high-profile players, does not have a bachelor’s degree, SI.com reported.

Gerrymandering is a practice intended to give a political advantage to a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries.

These are some responses on Twitter:

“So, a poll tax for aspiring (Black) sports agents?” @SecolaEdwards tweeted.

“Oh…This is about a bunch of BS! What does a bachelor’s degree have to do with being able to represent an athlete? This is the same NCAA that pimps off and makes billions off of the athletes while not paying them? That NCAA?” @karenhunter tweeted.

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For Paul, whose clients include Anthony Davis, John Wall, Draymond Green, and Ben Simmons, this new rule puts him at a disadvantage when trying to represent new players, Deadspin reported. Paul got his start when he was 21 years old and had a chance meeting with 17-year-old LeBron James. The agent never attended college and didn’t need it to become successful. The new rule specifically excludes him from opportunities to represent any college player who’s on the fence about leaving.

James posted the new rules on Twitter, saying “Nothing will stop this movement and culture over here.”

The new rules feel like bullying, “like the NCAA throwing its weight around to try and prove it can still control its workers,” Lauren Theisen wrote for Deadspin. “By scoring a point off one of the game’s most famous and controversial agents—who doesn’t have much recourse to fight back—the NCAA can make it clear to everyone once again that this old-fart organization won’t just disappear quietly in the face of inevitable change.”

“A.K.A. ‘Only old white men should be in charge of young black athletes and their futures,'” @unemployedfatty tweeted.

The NCAA has to keep selling the idea that its in this racket to educate, SI reported. “The NCAA is doing this mostly for business reasons at this point. It fears the financial ramifications of society treating its business like a business.”