NCAA raises bar for agents of draft-testing players

The NCAA added higher certification standards for agents who want to represent basketball players testing the waters of the NBA Draft.

The NCAA issued a memo to agents Monday, specifying the new criteria, which also was posted on the NCAA’s website. The agent must:

–Have a bachelor’s degree

–Be NBPA-certified for at least three consecutive years

–Have professional liability insurance

–Submit application and take an in-person exam at the NCAA office in Indianapolis in early November.

Those requirements are in addition to a background check.

This was the first year in which NCAA players could declare for the draft and hire an agent to help navigate the pre-draft process. They maintain their collegiate eligibility if they decide to return to school.

Some suggested that the new NCAA guidelines were aimed at Klutch Sports’ founder Rich Paul, whose high-profile clients include LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, Draymond Green, John Wall and others.

Paul, who built his career off James’ friendship, does not have a degree.

“Men’s basketball student-athletes who are considering careers in professional basketball but who may want to return to school are only permitted to accept permissible agent services from NCAA-certified agents with a signed agent agreement,” the memo stated, according to ESPN.

“It is important to remember that a men’s basketball student-athlete cannot enter into an agent agreement until after his team’s season has concluded, and the student-athlete has requested an evaluation from the NBA undergrad advisory committee.”