The initial rule was instantly dubbed the "Rich Paul rule," as he is one of the most prominent NBA agents, notoriously without a college degree. Many — including LeBron James and Paul himself — dubbed the rule as a racist.
At @TheAthletic and unlocked for everyone today, an op-ed written by Rich Paul, CEO and founder of Klutch Sports Group, in response to being asked for his thoughts on the so-called 'Rich Paul Rule' passed down by the NCAA last week.— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) August 12, 2019
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Rich Paul wrote an open-access op-ed for the Athletic this morning, stating, "Requiring a four-year degree only accomplishes one thing — systemically excluding those who come from a world where college is unrealistic."
Paul, a childhood friend of LeBron James, is widely regarded as one of the NBA's finest agents. This offseason, Paul has gotten Sixers point guard Ben Simmons and Warriors forward Draymond Green massive extensions, in addition to his role in the blockbuster Anthony Davis trade.
??????????? Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop! They BIG MAD ? and Scared ?. Nothing will stop this movement and culture over here. Sorry! Not sorry. ?✌?— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 6, 2019
Paul acknowledged that while the "Rich Paul rule" didn't directly affect him, it would have a negative impact on those who do not have the means to attend college, yet aspire to follow in similar footsteps. He is absolutely spot-on in his assessment.
The NCAA demonstrated an abundance of privilege after declaring the rule originally — who is to say a college education is what best prepares a professional sports agent? If Paul is so successful, why didn't he need a degree?
Most importantly, it's good that the NCAA finally came to its senses. Better late than never I suppose.