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NBA Agents Refusing To Submit To NCAA Certification Program

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September 15, 2019

Photo: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA’s new rules guiding which agents are allowed to represent college athletes has run into roadblock.

In conjunction with player agents, the National Basketball Players Association will send a letter to the NCAA refusing to accept a certification process, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The proposal applies to agents dealing with college players who are “testing the waters” to determine if they should remain in the NBA Draft.

The players’ union has been in communication with NCAA officials in an attempt to work together on the matter. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts refused to comment.

Agents are certified by union and some states, but are pushing back on NCAA’s insistence it should hold regulatory/investigative power on agents. “There’s no rational connection between certification process,” and NCAA’s stated purpose of protecting men’s basketball players.

The NBA’s agents have signed a letter that informs the NCAA that player agents will not register for the NCAA’s proposed agent certification process.

College players who declare their intentions to enter the draft have several weeks to consider that decision while going through the combine and team workouts. The NCAA wants to register agents who would be speaking to the players during that time, even though they’re already subject to oversight from the NBPA and state regulatory organizations. The NCAA originally sought a requirement that prospective agents own at least a bachelor’s degree — dubbed the “Rich Paul Rule” because he doesn’t have one — but later relented.

“While we refuse to subject ourselves to these regulations, our biggest concern is that the process itself undermines the ability of student-athletes to truly receive the most competent representation when they are testing the waters,” the agents wrote. “By continuing to legislate in a manner that ignores the realities of the world that student-athletes with professional prospects live in, the NCAA is only entrenching an ecosystem that cultivates and fosters an atmosphere of distrust among the student-athletes whom the NCAA is supposed to protect, thus pushing these kids out of school far before they are ready.”

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