Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons has never held back in his criticism of the NCAA and the “one and done” rule.
The Australian Simmons was one of the biggest high school prospects in recent years but was required to go to college for a year because of the NBA’s rule that players have to spend a year out of high school before entering the NBA.
While sitting down with Maverick Carter of LeBron’s UNINTERRUPTED, Simmons spoke openly about the hypocrisy of the NCAA, including when he first arrived as an 18-year-old to see his face plastered across billboards all over Baton Rouge.
Simmons told Carter this was a revelatory moment for him,
“It’s a dirty business. You have to put up with it, but at the same time, it just taught me a lot. I have an image and people wanted to use that, but now I have the opportunity to control that and what I do and who I work with. It helped me. At the same time, I feel like it was really sneaky, kind of.”
And when Carter asked him if he really learned anything while in school, Simmons was quick to say ‘nah,’
“I think no. I think I would’ve learned a lot more being around professional athletes. Looking back at it now, I don’t even really know what I learned financially or just being a person at LSU. I think I’ve learned a lot more this whole year, being in Philly and being a pro than I did in LSU.”
Simmons hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that if the NCAA wasn’t able to get the biggest high school stars to play in college, a lot of people would lose money,
“If we didn’t [go to college], a lot of people would be losing money, so I think that’s the main reason. If the NCAA didn’t have the stars coming through then people wouldn’t be watching.”
NCAA President Mark Emmert has previously responded to Simmons’ comments during a Showtime documentary last year that criticized the NCAA. Emmert made the astute point that the NCAA is not physically threatening athletes to go to college,
“If someone wants to be a pro basketball player and doesn’t want to go to college, don’t go to college. We don’t put a gun to your head. First and foremost, it’s about being a student at a university. We’re in the human development business.”
Miss me with that ‘human development business’ bullshit.
Ben Simmons is absolutely killing it in his rookie year after a foot fracture kept him out all last season. Shoutout to Simmons for balling and dropping knowledge.