Ben Simmons, in a Showtime documentary set to air on Friday, made some strong remarks regarding the NCAA.
Myron Medcalf of ESPN got an advance screening of the film, “One and Done,” and posted Simmons’ comments earlier this week.
“The NCAA is really (expletive) up,” Simmons said, according to ESPN. “Everybody’s making money except the players. We’re the ones waking up early as hell to be the best teams and do everything they want us to do and then the players get nothing. They say education, but if I’m there for a year, I can’t get much education.”
On Wednesday, NCAA President Mark Emmert was on back on the LSU campus, where he served as chancellor from 1999-2004, as the keynote speaker for the inaugural Sports Communication Summit at the Manship School of Mass Communication. According to Scott Rabalais of the New Orleans Advocate, Emmert responded to Simmons comments, agreeing some rules are ‘stupid,” but that Simmons’ anger is aimed at the wrong institution.
“I was reading today where someone who played basketball at LSU was very unhappy with the one-and-done rule,” Emmert said. “That’s not our rule. That’s the NBA’s rule. But (he says) it’s another stupid NCAA rule.”
“The one-and-done rule is something I’ve made no secret about how much I dislike it,” Emmert said. “It makes a farce of going to school.”
Of course, Emmert doesn’t address Simmons’ frustration with being the center of the athletic department’s marketing campaigns, like the ’25 is Coming’ promotion, which was an effort to sell season tickets while promoting Simmons’ arrival to Baton Rouge.
The counter argument to Simmons’ complaints is simple: He could have gone to Europe. He could have gone to the D-League. Simmons even had a unique case where he could have stayed in his native Australia rather than prep at Montverde Academy (Florida), which would have made him eligible for the 2015 NBA Draft and could have avoided college altogether.
However, as Rob Dauster mentioned on the latest NBC Sports’ College Basketball Podcast, Simmons’ lone year at LSU helped establish his brand and identity, which led to lucrative endorsements on top of his rookie salary. Rob makes the case that a different outspoken college basketball player is the real victim of the NCAA’s rules.