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Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum reacts to new NCAA agent rules

NBA players wasted no time to make it abundantly clear how they feel about the NCAA’s so-called “Rich Paul rule.” The league office, though, is taking a more cautious approach to voicing its stance on the matter.

Asked to respond to new NCAA requirements regarding player agents, deputy commissioner Mark Tatum stressed the need to better understand nuances of the rules before coming to an opinion.

“I haven’t had a chance to really dive into all of those,” he said, per Cody Taylor of USA TODAY. “There have been lots of conversations around the Rice report, the Condoleeza Rice report, that we had been made aware of but with specific requirements around the agents, we’re still looking at it. We’re still having conversations with the NCAA around that. We’ll continue to evaluate and monitor the impact that will have.”

The NCAA announced its latest controversial stipulation earlier this week. Now, when players testing the waters hire agents, they will only be allowed to retain their eligibility if they hire agents who have a bachelor’s degree; have been certified by the NBPA for at least three years; and pass an in-person exam administered at the NCAA’s office in Indianapolis.

Tatum has been deputy commissioner to Adam Silver since 2014. The longtime league executive is best known among fans for emceeing the draft lottery and second-round of the NBA draft. He’s played an especially key role of late in the league’s increasing focus on extending its global footprint, and was instrumental in the implementation of sponsorships on jerseys.