Ben Simmons rips NCAA in new doc, was reportedly 'offered a Bentley' at LSU
Sixers rookie says he was 'wasting time' at LSU
In a new documentary that will air at 9 p.m. ET on Friday on Showtime, Philadelphia 76ers rookie and No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft Ben Simmons rips the NCAA for what he feels is exploitation of him in preventing him from being paid for his play at LSU. Transcript from ESPN:
"The NCAA is really f---ed up," Simmons said on "One and Done," a film that will air on Showtime on Friday night. "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."
"[Coach] Jones said, 'We need to make up a punishment if you miss another class,'" Simmons said. "I missed my next class about preparing for better study habits. I'm going to the NBA next season. Why bull---- if it's not going to help me?"
"The NCAA is messed up," Simmons said. "I don't have a voice. ... I don't get paid to do it. Don't say I'm an amateur and make me take pictures and sign stuff and go make hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars off one person. ... I'm going off on the NCAA. Just wait, just wait. I can be a voice for everybody in college. I'm here because I have to be here [at LSU]. ... I can't get a degree in two semesters, so it's kind of pointless. I feel like I'm wasting time."
The comments are likely to draw criticism, particularly after Simmons alleges he was "offered" cars, jewelry and other incentives while at LSU and the above accusation that his coach would "make up" punishments for skipping class.
"At LSU, he said he was offered a 'Bentley, a Wraith Rolls-Royce, watches, jewelry, a house ... anything,'" the transcript reads, via ESPN.com. "'It literally is anything. People coming at you, offering you things.'"
There will undoubtedly be those who feel that Simmons was compensated for his play with a free education on scholarship.
Simmons' comments reveal the inherent problem with the NBA's age-limit rule. Simmons never had intentions of pursuing an education at LSU, nor did he have any interest in doing so.
You can certainly argue that an education, the room and board, the benefits of a year of college education certainly stand as recompense for his play in NCAA basketball. However, a key issue here is that the players themselves do not feel that way. It's like if your boss paid you in a foreign currency that you could not use to provide for yourself or your family. You're being compensated, but you don't experience it that way.
If nothing else, they provide a window of insight into the way players feel about the current system in play.
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