Draymond Green NCAA 'Did The Right Thing' Reversing Rich Paul Rule

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THAT'S RICH
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Draymond Green is praising the NCAA for backtracking on its controversial Rich Paul Rule ... telling TMZ Sports "they did the right thing!"

Earlier this week ... the org. reversed its new requirement for agents to have a bachelor's degree in order to rep college athletes looking to test the waters in the NBA Draft (while maintaining eligibility) ... after TONS of backlash.

We spoke with Day Day -- one of Rich's many NBA superstar clients -- about the move ... and it's clear he's in favor with the reversal.

"They did what was right. Rich applied that pressure to 'em, though!!" Green says.

Draymond doesn't think the initial criteria had anything to do with race ... but could impact people looking to follow the agent's footsteps.

"I just feel like it wasn't really gonna affect Rich ... but it was gonna affect the next Rich."

NCAA Backpedals on 'Rich Paul Rule' Won't Require Bachelor's Degree

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The NCAA is caving to the major backlash it got over its new agent certification criteria ... amending the bachelor's degree requirement to rep certain college players.

The organization had been under fire since the memo was sent out to agents last week ... when it announced that any college player looking to test the NBA waters would only retain eligibility if they had an approved agent with a degree, 3 years of experience with the NBPA and passed an in-person test.

The requirements were dubbed the "Rich Paul Rule" by many -- given the super agent does not have a college degree -- and everyone from LeBron James to Chris Paul spoke out against it.

But, it's all over now ... 'cause the NCAA is amending the rule to coincide with the NBPA's criteria.

"We have been made aware of several current agents who have appropriately represented former student-athletes in their professional quest and whom the National Basketball Players Association has granted waivers of its bachelor’s degree requirement," the NCAA said in a statement ... while insisting it wasn't singling out Paul.

"While specific individuals were not considered when developing our process, we respect the NBPA’s determination of qualification and have amended our certification criteria."

The new requirement states that an agent must "Have a bachelor’s degree and/or are currently certified and in good standing with the NBPA."

That didn't last long.

Rich Paul NCAA's 'Rich Paul Rule' No Impact on Me!

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Rich Paul is finally addressing the NCAA's new agent criteria that's been dubbed the "Rich Paul Rule" ... saying the new requirements have NO impact on his business ... but could prevent people from following in his footsteps.

The NBA super agent published an op-ed in The Athletic on Monday ... breaking down the new policy (which requires a bachelor's degree to rep players testing their NBA waters without losing eligibility) and explaining how it hurts anyone trying to be the next Rich Paul.

"NCAA executives are once again preventing young people from less prestigious backgrounds, and often people of color, from working in the system they continue to control."

"In this case, the people being locked out are kids who aspire to be an agent and work in the NBA and do not have the resources, opportunity, or desire to get a four-year degree."

Paul DOES agree with 2 of the 3 requirements ... saying he supports requiring 3 years of experience and a written test in order to represent players testing the market.

"However, requiring a four-year degree accomplishes only one thing — systematically excluding those who come from a world where college is unrealistic."

Paul suggests the NCAA work with aspiring agents with a one-year program or mentorship, instead of rejecting them completely.

"The barriers to entry for the next Rich Paul are already high enough."

Paul ends the piece by encouraging the youth to continue to "strive for greatness" ... no matter what the NCAA does.

Baker Mayfield Rips Big 12's Horns Down Rule 'I Think It's Very Soft'

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Baker Mayfield is teeing off on the Big 12 Conference for penalizing players who mock Texas' famous "Hook 'em Horns" hand gesture ... saying the world is getting way too sensitive.

Conference honchos announced last month that any player who directs a "Horns Down" gesture towards Texas' team or student section will be hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Baker -- who was a big advocate of the hand sign during his time at Oklahoma -- thinks it's a bunch of BS ... sounding off on the decision on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" on Friday.

"I think it's very soft they're implementing a rule about it," Mayfield says. "It shows the sensitivity of today's day and age."

Of course, the QB isn't shy to let his emotions fly on the field -- from crotch-grabbing to flag planting -- so it's no surprise he's pissed.

The Browns superstar also talked about his reaction to Odell Beckham coming to Cleveland ... saying his excitement level was an 11 out of 10 ... and says he's moved on from his feud with ex-coach Hue Jackson.

NBA Agent Daniel Hazan Blasts NCAA ... Supports Rich Paul

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A FAILED OPPORTUNITY
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Rich Paul's peers are coming to his defense in the wake of a new NCAA rule that seems to be aimed at him ... with NBA agent Daniel Hazan saying the NCAA is making a terrible mistake.

The NCAA's new rule -- dubbed the "Rich Paul Rule" -- is geared toward dissuading players from working with agents who don't have a bachelor's degree, among other requirements.

Long story short ... the NCAA says it will not allow players with remaining eligibility to return to college to play IF they establish a professional relationship with a non-degree holding agent.

The most famous NBA agent without a degree is Rich Paul, who represents everyone from LeBron James to Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, John Wall ... you get the point.

Enter Hazan -- who at the beginning of his career was the youngest NBA agent to sign a client -- and currently reps a slate of pro ballers.

Not only does Hazan explain why the rule is bad for young agents, but says it will ultimately hurt the NCAA by driving players out of college basketball.

Hazan thinks young players will be more motivated to find other avenues to the NBA -- whether it's playing overseas or other semi-pro leagues in the U.S.

Remember, we just spoke with Al Harrington -- who's a part-owner of a pro team in Australia -- and he says he's gunning to recruit guys to plays for him INSTEAD of playing college ball because he'll cut fat ass checks that the NCAA refuses to do.

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Hazan says he doesn't think the rule will last more than a year before the NCAA realizes its mistake.

Stay tuned ...

Ex-USC Football Coach I Was Fired, Humiliated ... For Whistleblowing

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1:02 PM PT -- A school spokesperson tells TMZ Sports ... “USC is investigating the allegations in the lawsuit. The university strives to ensure compliance with NCAA rules.”

A former assistant coach for the USC Trojans football team is suing the school -- claiming he was fired and humiliated after reporting multiple violations to school officials ... and now he wants at least $2 MIL to make things right. 

The man behind the lawsuit is Rick Courtright -- who was hired as a senior defensive analyst in early 2016, after coaching at various levels (including the NFL) for nearly 33 years. 

During his time with USC, Courtright claims he witnessed some violations and felt obligated to report them to the USC compliance office so they could address the matter in-house. 

Among the allegations, Courtright claims he learned 2 USC graduate assistants working for the football were paying other students to take their classes for them -- with the blessing and funding coming from USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast

In his lawsuit, Courtright says he also reported safety violations -- including an incident where 2 football players were injured in an unsupervised pre-game warmup, where they were not wearing proper protective gear. Courtright says the players suffered concussions as a result. 

After he blew the whistle, Courtright says people at USC retaliated against him -- from gluing his computer mouse to his desk ... to leaving nasty sticky notes at his work-station calling him a "d*ckhead" and an "a**hole."

He also claims various clothing items were stolen, people stopped talking to him and eventually USC head football coach Clay Helton placed him on administrative leave before forcing him to resign in May 2018. 

Courtright adamantly believes the treatment was a direct result of his whistleblowing -- and he's demanding more than $2 MILLION. 

We reached out to USC -- so far, no official comment. 

Originally Published -- 11:17 AM PT

Bol Bol I'm 100% Healthy ... Parties In Hollywood

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DRAFT READY
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NBA draft prospect Bol Bol -- the 7'2" phenom from Oregon -- just flew out of L.A. ... after getting in some partying with a bunch of attractive ladies.

The 19-year-old had been in L.A. to show off his talents to NBA teams ahead of Thursday's 2019 NBA Draft -- where he's expected to be a 1st-round pick.

The issue ... Bol battled a foot injury that sidelined him for most of the 2019 college basketball season -- and there are concerns about how the injury will affect him in the pros.

But, when we saw Bol Bol at LAX on Monday -- he told us he's 100% ... and didn't seem to have a problem using that foot to climb the escalator inside the terminal.

Over the weekend, Bol Bol was spotted leaving Bootsy Bellows with a female entourage -- because that's what you do when you're 19 years old and about to become a multi-millionaire!

6/16/19
IT'S PARTY TIME
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Bol has a bright future in the NBA ... at least according to Shaquille O'Neal, who raved about the guy back in May telling us, "The guy everyone should be looking at is Bol Bol."

He added, "Bol Bol can play. He's the real deal."

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Of course, Bol Bol is the son of NBA royalty -- his father is the late NBA legend Manute Bol ... the 7'7" phenom from Sudan.

Manute spent 10 years in the NBA and TWICE led the league in blocks. He passed away in 2010 after suffering from a rare skin disease.

Top College Wrestler Arrested for Sexual Assault ... Denies Allegations

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Gable Steveson -- one of the top heavyweight college wrestlers in the country -- was arrested Saturday for criminal sexual conduct ... and he's still in custody.

Steveson is a superstar wrestler at the University of Minnesota -- where he just wrapped up his freshman year with an incredible 35-2 record ... finishing as the #3 ranked heavyweight in the country.

But now, he's in huge trouble ... the 19-year-old was arrested at his Minneapolis home on Saturday after a person told police Steveson and another UM wrestler committed sexual assault with an object on Saturday.

The teammate, 21-year-old Dylan Martinez, was also arrested Saturday for suspected criminal sexual conduct.

Both men are being investigated for allegedly penetrating another individual with an object. The accuser went to the hospital for treatment, according to the police report.

The accuser's identity has not been released. Details surrounding the allegations are unclear.

What is clear ... Steveson is adamant he did NOTHING wrong. His attorney, Christa Groshek, said the wrestler is cooperating with the police investigation and he's adamant he is innocent.

The University of Minnesota has issued a statement, saying, "We are aware of a situation involving two of our student athletes and are in the process of gathering more information."

"These students have been suspended from all team activity pending further information. Federal and state law precludes any further details at this time."

Story developing ...

Victor Page Ex-Georgetown Star Agrees To Serve 20 Years In Prison For Assault

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Victor Page -- the ex-Georgetown star who was caught on video brutally attacking a woman -- just agreed to a plea deal that will lock him behind bars for 20 YEARS ... prosecutors tell TMZ Sports.

As we previously reported ... Page -- who played with Allen Iverson at Georgetown -- was arrested after a 17-year-old girl claimed he violently assaulted her back in December.

43-year-old Page was allegedly at the victim's apartment in Camp Springs, Maryland on Dec. 30 when she claims he tried to rape her inside the home.

She was able to flee ... but as you can see in a video obtained by TMZ Sports, he followed her outside and smothered her while she was on the ground for roughly 2 minutes.

LEFT HELPLESS
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Page was arrested a few days later after the victim went to authorities ... and he was eventually hit with several serious charges -- including assault, attempted rape and child abuse.

He was facing up to LIFE in prison.

But, a spokesperson for the Prince George’s County State Attorney's Office says Page cut a deal this week ... and is pleading guilty to 1st-degree assault and 4th-degree attempted sex offense.

In exchange, the spokesperson says Page will get 20 YEARS in prison and another 5 years of probation when he gets out.

We're also told Victor will be required to register as a sex offender and provide a DNA sample for 15 years upon his release.

Page -- who was previously sentenced to 10 years in prison for 2nd-degree assault in 2013 (but was released early) -- is due back in court in July for the official sentencing.

Greg Anthony Son Shows Off Insane Hops ... Eye Level With Rim!!!

MAD HOPS

They're gonna need a higher ceiling at the Dean Smith Center for next year ... 'cause Greg Anthony's basketball star son, Cole, put his dunking skills on display on Friday ... and the dude can fly!!!

He may be an ex-NBA player's son, but the North Carolina Tar Heels commit has already made a name for himself ... and if you're watching the video above, you know exactly why.

The 19-year-old was the McDonald's All-American game and Jordan Brand game MVP ... and was easily considered one of the best high school hoopers this past season.

Anthony shows off a plethora of rim shakers -- including off-the-wall and between-the-legs dunks -- and even though it's only June, we're officially excited for next college basketball season.

Ex-UCLA Player Sues Jim Mora's Practices Led to Suicide Attempt

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5/31/19 -- Two other former UCLA players -- OL Zach Bateman and OL Poasi Moala -- have joined Lopez's lawsuit against the school and Mora.

"Each of these young men suffered serious, but significantly different injuries, while they were teammates at UCLA," said their attorney, Pamela Tahim Thakur.

"While the lawsuits involve many of the same facts, each case is distinct in its own way. But what they all have in common is the pattern of brutality and intentional disregard for player health and safey by Coach Mora and his staff at UCLA."

10:30 AM PT -- A spokesperson for UCLA Athletics released a statement to TMZ Sports ... saying, “While we cannot comment on the specific details of a pending lawsuit, we want to make it clear that the health and safety of our student-athletes is UCLA’s top priority."

"We strongly deny and will defend ourselves against the allegations made in the lawsuit. We handle every injury with the highest standard of care, and take potential head injuries very seriously. As one of the world’s leading research institutions, and a partner in the largest-ever concussion research study conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense and NCAA, we believe our concussion protocol is among the strongest in the country."

"Our team physicians and sports medicine staff work hand-in-hand on diagnosis, monitoring and treatment, and they are the only individuals who determine when a student-athlete is cleared to participate in their sport; coaches are not involved in these decisions.”

Former UCLA coach Jim Mora's practices were so rigorous -- and his concussion protocol was so flimsy -- an ex-OL tried to kill himself ... so claims one of Mora's former top recruits in a new lawsuit.

John Lopez -- a 6' 5", 305-pound offensive lineman -- says repeated concussions he suffered during Mora's practices led to his suicide attempt back in 2016.

Lopez claims after being recruited by Mora to UCLA ... he almost immediately suffered his first-ever concussion at the Bruins' August 2013 training camp in San Bernardino.

Lopez says Mora and his staff didn't take the proper steps to safely return him back to the field ... and rushed him back into practice.

In fact, Lopez says he was ridiculed for being injured ... and alleges one of Mora's coaches even made up a special drill where other players were encouraged to "f*ck him up!"

Lopez says the following year -- at the start of his sophomore season -- at UCLA's August 2014 training camp in San Bernardino ... he suffered a second concussion in an on-field drill.

John claims he was rushed back to the field once again ... and says the drills he was put through in his return were "unnecessarily brutal."

Lopez says a year later -- in December 2015 of his junior season -- he suffered yet another head injury ... and his post-concussion symptoms were so bad, he was forced to medically retire from the team.

But, John says the damage the brain injuries did were already crippling ... saying he suffered from short-term memory loss, depression and "drastic changes in his demeanor."

Lopez says it all came to a head in the fall of 2016 ... when he attempted to kill himself by overdosing on a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Lopez says he was able to inform family members and friends of his suicide attempt ... and they were able to save his life at the emergency center at UCLA's medical center shortly after.

John is now suing Mora, members of his staff, UCLA and the NCAA ... claiming they didn't do enough to protect him both before he suffered concussions and afterward.

Lopez is now seeking more than $15 MILLION ... saying the trauma he suffered during his time at UCLA is preventing him from finishing school and is causing him emotional pain, suffering and distress.

We've reached out to UCLA for comment -- so far, no word back.

Originally published -- 5/30 7:55 AM PT

Zion Williamson Never Gonna Pass on NBA Money ... Says Matt Barnes

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TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL
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Matt Barnes says there's no way in hell Zion Williamson's gonna pass up on NBA money just 'cause NOLA ain't New York ... telling TMZ Sports going back to Duke would be too much of a risk.

Earlier this week, there were rumblings Z-Dub could go back to Durham after the Pelicans won the NBA Draft lottery because he was hoping to go to the Knicks.

But, Barnes says all that talk is a bunch of hogwash ... 'cause the future #1 overall pick is expected to land a contract up to $45 million.

... Oh yeah, he's also probably gonna get a $100 MILLION shoe deal ... Soooo, maybe New Orleans won't be so bad!!!

"Money is different these days. I think he'd be passing up on 100-plus million to go back and possibly get hurt again in college, I don't think it's gonna happen," Barnes said.

"The world lost their mind when his shoe blew out and they didn't think he should play anymore. So, I think the fact that there's this much money on the table, I don't see him passing it up."

Ex-Oregon Ducks Star Stops Gunman ... At Portland High School

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Former Oregon Ducks stud Keanon Lowe is being touted as a hero today ... Portland high school students are praising the ex-WR for stopping a gunman who was near campus Friday.

Lowe -- one of Marcus Mariota's favorite targets back at Oregon -- reportedly tackled a man with a gun near the tennis courts at Parkrose High School in Northeast Portland.

Unclear what the man's intentions were -- cops have yet to say his motive -- but Oregon Live reports, "a parent said students reported that the suspect, a fellow student, had brought a gun to the school with the intention of committing suicide."

Cops say they've taken the suspect into custody ... and school officials now say all students are safe.

Keanon -- who's reportedly the high school's football coach as well its track and field coach -- was a star with the Ducks, tallying 891 receiving yards and 11 TDs in 68 career games.

Lowe played for Oregon from 2011-2014, helping the team win 2 Rose Bowls.

Big Boi Here's a Car for Graduating, Son ... Here's Andre & I Again Too

Big Boi knows how to give his son -- and his fans -- what they want in one shot ... gifting his boy a new whip for graduation, and linking up with his OutKast counterpart to boot.

BB was celebrating his son, Cross "The Boss" Patton, for crossing the finish line at Woodward Academy in Atlanta, GA -- where he's leaving with a football scholarship to play at the University of Oregon as a running back in the fall.

To mark the moment, Big Boi handed Cross the keys to a brand spanking new Tesla ... which he was clearly ecstatic to be getting behind the wheel for.

NEW WHIP

That wasn't the only surprise though -- Andre 3000 showed up to get in on the festivities as well, even posing for a pic with the graduate and his longtime partner in rhyme.

It might not have been the OutKast reunions fans clamor for time and again -- the two of them don't really reunite professionally as much these days -- but it's still cool to see the ATLiens bonding over life.

Scottie Pippen Warns SEC Hoops My Son's Going To Bring It At Vanderbilt!!!

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LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
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SEC men's basketball ... you've officially been put on notice -- 'cause Scottie Pippen says his son is about to be a MONSTER at Vanderbilt!!!

"You know my son's going to bring it," Pippen tells TMZ Sports ... "His eggs don't fall too far from the tree!"

Of course, Scotty Pippen Jr. just signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Commodores last week ... so when we got his famous pops out at Toca Madera, we had to ask about his son's game.

Ya gotta see Scottie's response ... the Chicago Bulls legend CLEARLY believes his son can be the next big thing at Vandy!!!

If ya haven't seen the kid ... he's a 6-foot-1, 160-pound PG who new Vanderbilt head coach Jerry Stackhouse says, "has the ability and poise to make an immediate impact on our roster."

Scotty's first time in Vandy's black and gold will be sometime in the fall ... until then, enjoy his high school highlights!!!

Baylor Women's Hoops Fast Food at White House ... Coach Unimpressed?!

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It's becoming a tradition unlike any other -- win a national title, get a fast food smorgasbord from President Trump ... and Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey's face says it all.

The Lady Bears celebrated their title at the White House after beating Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament earlier this month ... and of course, there was all the Wendy's, McDonald's and Burger King they could eat.

It looks like the players were cool with the menu -- but how did Coach Mulkey feel? Just look at the pic ...

The fast-food feast all started back when Clemson visited the White House during the government shutdown in January ... and at the time, Trump explained the menu by saying, "I would think that's their favorite food."

But, it's become POTUS' "thing" to keep the burger buffet goin' ... and the kids seem to love it, just ask Clemson superstar QB Trevor Lawrence!!

We should note -- Trump hasn't busted out the burger love for EVERY championship team that's come to visit ... the Washington Capitals didn't get ANY food when they rolled through last month.

So, maybe it's just a college athlete thing??