The NCAA Is Requiring NBA Agents to Have Degrees. That’s Stupid.

The NCAA Is Requiring NBA Agents to Have Degrees. That’s Stupid.

The NCAA released a memo to agents on Monday instituting new certification criteria — and one of them was a bachelor’s degree.

The memo, obtained by ESPN, also requires agents to have professional liability insurance and NBPA certification for a minimum of three consecutive years and to have completed an in-person exam at the NCAA office in Indianapolis in early November.

According to ESPN, some people have begun referring to the college requirement as the “Rich Paul Rule” after Rich Paul, who represents NBA stars including LeBron James, Ben Davis, and Anthony Simmons. Paul started working with James shortly after high school and never graduated from college. The new rule would mean that Paul couldn’t represent any of the new underclassmen trying to enter the draft.

The measure has proven to be controversial, but the NCAA released a statement defending it on Wednesday.

“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,” it states. “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.”

Sorry — but this is so, so stupid. In fact, the very reason why agents should not be required to have a degree can be found in the NCAA’s own argument that they s

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1 Trade to Help Get NBA’s Best Superstars over the Top

1 Trade to Help Get NBA’s Best Superstars over the Top

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    Jeff Haynes/Getty Images

    No disrespect to Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard or LeBron James, but it’s time some other superstars got to come out on top.

    For the past seven years, one (or two) of these players has won the title, a streak that will reach eight no matter who wins this year’s NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.

    With Durant and Leonard about to hit free agency, we could see an opening at the top of each conference, just ripe for the picking for the rest of today’s top stars.

    We’re looking at you, James Harden. And we saw how close you made it this year, Giannis Antetokounmpo. And don’t think we forgot about the playoff run you just had, Damian Lillard. It’s OK to admit you need a little help. There are some damn good teams in the NBA right now, ones that just need a little push to reach that next playoff round or championship level.

    Ringless superstars, these trades are for you!

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Blazers Receive: PF Kevin Love

    Cavaliers Receive: SF Maurice Harkless, C Meyers Leonard, 2019 No. 25 overall pick

    Lillard’s spectacular postseason performance reinforced two previous beliefs.

    First, he’s a superstar and among the best guards in the NBA. Second, defenses will plan their attacks around stopping him, and the Blazers will need someone besides CJ McCollum to turn to for offense.

    Enter Love, who should be happy to move off a rebuilding Cavaliers team and return to his home area of Lake Oswego, Oregon.

    Given Love’s injury history and juicy remaining contract (four years, $120.4 million), the Blazers won’t have to give up McCollum or a great deal of assets. Simply including the expiring contracts of Harkless and Leonard, along with their late first-round pick this season, should do.

    Is Love still productive when healthy? His 17.0 points and 10.9 rebounds in just 27.2 minutes per game this season suggest so. Can he be the third-best player on a championship team? Again, check. Will his presence open the floor and create even more driving lanes for Lillard and McCollum? Absolutely.

    For Lillard and the Blazers, a trade for Love is well worth the risk.

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Thunder Receive: SG Bradley Beal, C Dwight Howard

    Wizards Receive: 2019 No. 21 overall pick (after selection is made), 2021 1st-Round Pick (unprotected), C Steven Adams, PF Jerami Grant, SG Terrance Ferguson

    After two years of failing to make it out of the first round, it’s clear the combo of Paul George and Russell Westbrook isn’t enough.

    Outside shooting is a need for the Thunder, who finished the regular season 22nd overall with a team three-point success rate of 34.8 percent. Beal is a career 38.4 percent shooter from deep and has evolved his offensive game to near superstar status.

    He won’t come cheaply, of course.

    Losing Adams would sting, as the 25-year-old center is coming off a 13.9-point, 9.5-rebound, 1.5-steal per game season. Grant is a springy 25-year-old three-and-D power forward, and the 21-year-old Ferguson fits in nicely with a rebuild in Washington as well.

    Because of the Stepien Rule, the Thunder wou