LeBron James calls out NCAA over new rules that would prevent his agent and friend Rich Paul from representing players just out of college

Chris Szagola/APLeBron James.
  • New NCAA rules will require agents hoping to represent players testing the waters of the NBA to have a college degree.
  • The rule caught the eye of LeBron James, as it would prevent his agent and friend Rich Paul from being able to represent some young players.
  • On Twitter, James dubbed the requirement the “Rich Paul Rule.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The NCAA’s newly released rules regarding the qualifications to represent players testing the waters of a jump to the NBA have caught the eye of LeBron James.

On Monday, the NCAA issued a memo outlining criteria that agents would have to meet to represent college players who are debating whether to return for another year of college basketball or make the leap to play professionally, either in the NBA, in the G League, or internationally.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello, those criteria include a bachelor’s degree, National Basketball Players Association certification for at least three consecutive years, professional liability insurance, and the completion of an exam taken in person at the NCAA office in Indianapolis in early November.

The degree requirement has since drawn the ire of James, as some think it’s aimed directly at Rich Paul, his longtime friend and agent.

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Paul never went to college, instead working directly with the superstar, working at Creative Artists Agency, and eventually developing Klutch Sports. He’s one of the most powerful agents – if not the most powerful – in the NBA, representing not only James but Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, Draymond Green, and more.

On Twitter on Tuesday, James called out the requirement, dubbing it the “Rich Paul Rule.”

Others noticed that the rule seemed to target Paul.

While the rule might be frustrating for Paul in some cases, he has plenty of possible recourse.

As Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann outlined, Paul could argue that the criteria violate federal antitrust law, as they would exclude talented agents from the pool of candidates that players have to pick from as they prepare to enter the league.

An NBA source who spoke with Jeff Goodman disputed the idea that the rule targets Paul.

Regardless of whether Paul decides to mount a legal challenge, he’s established himself as one of the premier agents in the league, with or without a college degree.

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