What if I told you ... that your influence can be so strong that others don't want you replicated?

The good ol’ folks at the National Collegiate Athletic Association continues to find ways to show their behind, so much so that mooning the world has become as normal to them as Saturday morning tailgating.

The latest NCAA charade was announced this past Tuesday when the governing body of collegiate athletes revealed a certification program involving agents — rather who collegiate players can allow to represent them in their pursuit of professionalism. According to the NCAA, its agent certification application website has an introduction that begins:

The April 2018 report from the Commission on College Basketball chaired by Condoleezza Rice recommended, and the NCAA adopted, legislation to allow SOME student-athletes to hire NCAA-certified agents so that the student-athletes can receive meaningful assessment of their professional prospects earlier in their journey.

On the surface, there is no issue there, unless you have a problem with a non-athlete like Rice making recommendations, but other than that, that’s fair. You should want the athletes to have people who have their best interest in mind. But then, we get to the prerequisites portion of the application.

To become an NCAA-certified agent one must: 1. Have a bachelor’s degree.

And that is where the NCAA was depantsed — again. That one prerequisite of four is bringing down the wrath of people because they believe it is a direct attack on NBA mega-agent Rich Paul, LeBron James’ childhood friend who just so happen to NOT be a college graduate. But that has not deterred Paul — along with his agency Klutch Sports — from being arguably the best agent in this generation with clients such as Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, Ben Simmons and of course James himself.

How powerful is Paul? Well … Green just signed a four-year $100 million max extension with the Golden State Warriors and earlier this summer, Simmons signed an extension with the Philadelphia 76ers for $170 million over five years. And of course, when you have one of the most powerful players the Association has seen in James on your client list, well it warrants a ‘Sports Illustrated’ “The Power Issue” cover story titled ‘The King Maker.’

“Frankly I think some of the efforts to control student-athletes and coaches, I think some of those actions are illegal. But now they’re attempting to engage in conduct where they’re going to assert economic control over people that they have no real right to regulate,” said attorney Don Jackson to the Associated Press.

Assert economic control simply means those with all the money, and in turn with all the power, dictating the money of others so they can’t overtake the power that the ones with all of the money have. Follow me? In other words, the NCAA want to prevent the likes of Paul, i.e.. inferior person, from being able to sit at the same table as they do because it threatens their own elitist influence. The weight that Paul carries in the NBA is scaring the bejesus out of the once traditional power brokers so they’re trying to put an end to it before they loose all of their own clout.

The NCAA responded in part with this joke via Twitter, “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.”

Agent Jerry Dianis said this to the Associated Press, “There are people with walls full of framed degrees from Ivy League institutions that commit malpractice. So a bachelor’s degree isn’t going to make a difference. … I think by the looks of things, Rich Paul seems to be giving some pretty damn good advice.” 

As this summer has proven, Paul’s experience, and on the job training, supersedes anything he could’ve learned in the books. Paul doesn’t exemplify what you can achieve with a lack of a college education — we already have the late Steve Jobs as an example for that — but that you, as an individual entity, can be so influential that the powers that be will make an ass out of themselves to prevent another you from happening again.

Be like Rich Paul … and change the narrative.

I can be reached at charris@devilslakejournal.com or on Twitter at: ChrisHarris_DLJ