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How new NCAA rules could impact the college sports business model

It’s no secret that the NCAA has been under fire for the way that it governs players. Many have argued that it exploits student-athletes under the guise of amateurism and prevents their ability to play professional sports.

And its latest potential move to set new rules for basketball agents looking to represent college athletes has dredged up all of those bad feelings and pushed them back into the spotlight.

Now according to a leaked memo by the NCAA, student athletes looking to test the draft waters can only sign with an agent and retain college eligibility if the agent has the following:

*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

Mar 20, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; General overall view of the March Madness logo at center court before the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The big one here is the requirement of a bachelor’s degree.

Almost instantly the new mandate got the nickname of the 'The Rich Paul Rule,' by NBA players and sports journalists alike, as they appear to be aimed at removing agents like 37-year old agent Rich Paul who did not attend college.

Paul's clients include all-star talent like Draymond Green, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and of course LeBron James.

James shared his thoughts on Twitter.

Lebron James responds to new NCAA agent rules

LeBron James responds to new NCAA rules for agents

Paul’s client Darius Bazley skipped college basketball all together, deciding to become a million-dollar intern for New Balance instead. Bazley ended up becoming the No. 23 overall pick in this year’s draft and is now with the Oklahoma City Thunder. With this deal Paul helped create maybe the most appealing alternative path yet to the NBA.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Klutch Sports founder Rich Paul (C) poses with NBA Players Ben Simmons, Tristan Thompson, John Wall and Lebron James attend attends the Klutch Sports Group "More Than A Game" Dinner Presented by Remy Martin at Beauty & Essex on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Klutch Sports Group)

The move to forego college has become somewhat a trend for those eyeing the NBA. Recently top prospect RJ Hampton decided to sign a contract with the New Zealand Breakers of the Australian National Basketball League. Hampton became the first American player to willingly bypass college for playing international basketball.

The NBA is also aiming to change the perception of its developmental G League. It introduced a new “professional path” for 2019-20 season, where otherwise one-and-done talents will be able to earn $125,000 for a season before becoming eligible for the NBA draft.

This new path could be why the NCAA has taken such a keen interest in basketball players and their agents.

NBA agent Jason Glushon, who represents players like Al Horford and Jrue Holiday highlighted the microscope those in the league are under.

Saying in a tweet “The NCAA seems to be targeting the NBA and NBA agents given other sports, such as Major League Baseball or the National Hockey League, are not required to complete the same guideline for doing the same duties of advising and representing their respective student athletes.”

Bridgette Webb is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @bridgetteAwebb.

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