The National Basketball Players Association sent a letter to the NCAA on behalf of player agents that outlines those agents’ refusal to be a part of a new certification process that the collegiate association wants to implement. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski obtained the signed letter and tweeted it out on Saturday.
According to the agents, the main reason behind this refusal stems from a belief that the NCAA would use this new certification process as a stepping stone to subpoena the private and public information of players and agents for internal investigations. Currently, this is not a right the athletic association has since agents fall outside the NCAA’s jurisdiction—usually, they have to wait for agent information to be released via public court documents for them to be used in those investigations.
We share in the NCAA’s goal of wanting to correct this problem, yet NCAA legislation continues to demonize and marginalize agents and furthers a negative stigma instead of making strides toward working cooperatively to ensure that student-athletes get the most accurate and competent counsel to make great career and life decisions.
This is the second time in recent months that agents have pushed back against proposed NCAA regulations. The last one came as a result of a rule that would only allow agents with bachelor’s degrees to represent college players—dubbed the “Rich Paul rule” because it seemed to target him specifically. The NCAA caved on that rule a week after major public backlash.
The question now becomes where both sides go from here. Agents will continue to fight against any regulations that makes them susceptible to having more oversight placed against them (an inherent aspect of working with the NCAA) while the NCAA will continue to fight against plans that allow agents the freedom to push their clients to more lucrative opportunities (an inherent aspect of working with agents). One of these groups is going to have to blink, but it doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon.