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NCAA amends restrictions on agents for student-athletes after Rich Paul's op-ed, week-long clamor

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20   //    13 Aug 2019, 12:57 IST

NCAA President Mark Emmert (left) and Eric Kaler, chairman of the NCAA’s board of directors.
NCAA President Mark Emmert (left) and Eric Kaler, chairman of the NCAA’s board of directors.

Just hours after Rich Paul's piece on The Athletic and less than a week after several players spoke up regarding NCAA's restrictions, the board released new amendments regarding certification requirements for agents.

Rich Paul had written:

The harmful consequences of this decision will ricochet onto others who are trying to break in. NCAA executives are once again preventing young people from less prestigious backgrounds, and often people of color, from working in the system they continue to control.  In this case, the people being locked out are kids who aspire to be an agent and work in the NBA and do not have the resources, opportunity, or desire to get a four-year degree.

This was because in the initial certification requirements, the NCAA stated that student-athletes can only hire an agent who:

  • Has a bachelor’s degree
  • Has been certified by the NBAPA for the last three years
  • Passes an in-person exam administered at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis

However, the most recent amendments are now as follows:

Student-athletes now can be represented by agents who meet the following requirements:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree and/or are currently certified and in good standing with the NBPA.
  • Have NBPA certification for a minimum of three consecutive years.
  • Maintain professional liability insurance.
  • Complete the NCAA qualification exam.
  • Pay the required fees.
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Notably, the amendments addressed some of the issues pointed out by Rich Paul and several other players in the basketball scene. As the agent has pointed out,

Does anyone really believe a four-year degree is what separates an ethical person from a con artist? Let’s also be clear that once the NCAA requires a four-year degree for athletes “testing the waters,” it’s only a matter of time until this idea is socialized, no longer questioned, and then more broadly applied. We all know how this works. Unfair policy is introduced incrementally so people accept it because it only affects a small group.

In addition, the recent changes also allows aspiring agents to take the qualification exam outside of Indianapolis. Although the required fees may still be a barrier for those from less-privileged backgrounds, the billion dollar industry's amendments on certification requirements have at least made it easier for some.

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