THE WORD | NCAA creates ridiculous ‘Rich Paul Rule’ for agents and potential NBA prospects

The NCAA's New Agent Regulations Sure Look Like They're Targeting Lebron James agent and best friend, Rich Paul.

One year ago, the NCAA announced college basketball players testing the NBA draft waters would be able to seek the guidance of an agent without losing their eligibility. On Tuesday, the NCAA issued a memo fine-tuning the restrictions around which agents athletes are allowed to hire.


A underclassman can work with an agent and retain his eligibility should he decide to return to school provided that the agent:

  • 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

Paul is the 37-year-old behind Klutch Sports. Paul started to build a relationship with James from there and leveraged it into a thriving representation business for sports and entertainment. A clientele that includes Athletes such as Anthony Davis.

Unlike most agents, Rich Paul is African-American. Unlike most agents, he didn’t go to college. He was too busy building an empire.

Paul took college classes at Cleveland State and Akron before dropping out to work with Lebron James. He has since been given an honorary degree from Cleveland State. Paul eventually began working for super agent Leon Rose at CAA when he realized he could do this himself. He and Lebron then started Klutch sports

”I had great teaching,” Paul says. “Working with Nike and at CAA, that’s the equivalent of going to Michigan Law School and to MIT.” In a 2012 ESPN profile, Paul put his schooling in perspective:

Many believe the NCAA's 'Rich Paul Rule' is all about protecting its money and power. Check our the reactions from the NBA Players