Know the Ledge

Recently the NCAA redefined the criteria for agents working with college athletes. The new agent “requirements” include passing a written test, at least 3 years of certification with the NBPA, and a four-year college degree. Since the announcement the sports media have swarmed this story as they don’t have much to discuss during the “irregular” season where there aren’t any major sporting events being televised in our country. Black-Americans or Latinx serve as examples to each other so when we see one of us become successful we study that path and a lot of us decide to take it. However, history has taught us that when a majority of us start achieving, the policy or procedures suddenly change. What the media has dubbed, the “Rich Paul Rule”, is exactly what it is, a deterrent for Latinx and Black-Americans. Rich Paul responded in an op-ed reassuring that he and his businesses were fine, but that these new “rules of engagement” will indeed disproportionally affect us and young people from our communities.

If all the top college athletes decided to attend college at an HBCU, I can almost guarantee that the rules would change and athletes at HBCUs would completely shut out of the draft in any sport! This rule covers all college sports not just basketball and football, this includes track and field, bowling, lacrosse, swimming, baseball, and the like. This is already happening in the music industry and more specifically, Rap Music, because people have been taking advantage of Black and Brown children for ages. When Jay Z found out they were skewing the streaming numbers, he purchased a platform to stream his own music. When distributors refused to sell CDs from local emcees, Master P. and Ludacris sold their own music out the back of their own cars. 

Whenever you go into a business deal you have to know how to play the game and be several steps ahead. You cannot play Chess if you’ve only played Checkers! Don’t come to my Spades table trying to play Hearts! They are not playing with you all, but history continues to repeat itself which is why we have yet to reap the results we desire. The new generation gets duped by the “revised” rules created by the previous generation based on how far the perceived opposition from that generation excelled. If every Black-American or Latinx person took the route Kim K-West was taking to become a lawyer, I guarantee you the regulations for becoming a lawyer would change to become more uniform. That’s why some organizations, companies, and states operate independently, everyone wants to make their own rules in order to benefit themselves, their family, or friends.  Not everyone will be grandfathered in.

“Here’s the policy, slide off the ring, plus the Wallabees.” – Raekwon (Incarcerated Scarfaces)

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