The NCAA came under immediate fire Tuesday after announcing a new rule requiring that agents advising NBA prospects still in college have a bachelor’s degree.
On Wednesday it responded with an attempt to have its cake and eat it too.
LeBron James blasted the announcement and followed suit on the social media outcry dubbing it the “Rich Paul Rule,” accusing the NCAA of targeting the high-profile NBA agent who doesn’t hold a college degree.
Others, like Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, criticized the NCAA for continuing its efforts to control student-athletes while displaying contempt for college basketball players.
NCAA responds to backlash
The NCAA took a day to digest the criticism and responded with a statement on Wednesday, sticking to its guns that it knows what’s best for NBA prospects — and that involves telling them which agents they can hire.
In doing so, it passed the buck on the decision to the Commission on College Basketball, which it credits for the recommendation.
NCAA statement on agent certification requirements: pic.twitter.com/MRy7Xg4Y7r
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) August 8, 2019
“Although some can and have been successful without a college degree, as a higher education organization, the NCAA values a college education and continues to emphasize the importance of earning a degree. We were guided by recommendations from the Commission on College Basketball — which spoke with the agent and advisor community — that the NCAA certification process should be more stringent than current processes.”
There’s more to the wordy statement that can be read in whole above.
NCAA ‘credits’ commission with recommendation
But the gist is clear. The NCAA wants to defend the decision alongside its oft-mocked status as a “higher education organization” that cares about degrees while deflecting and deferring the decision to the Commission on College Basketball, a group of advisers the NCAA assembled in 2017 as scandal engulfed the sport.
Translation: We stand by the decision, but if you don’t like it, blame these guys.
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