Documentary cameras followed Ben Simmons from his start in Australia, to his high school career in Florida, then on to LSU for one mandatory, NBA-imposed year, before finally being drafted into the Association by the Philadelphia 76ers. Airing on Showtime later this week, One and Done finds Simmons going all out on the hypocrisy of the NCAA and it's collusive NBA partner, calling the NCAA "really fucked up" and the requirement to attend class "a waste of time."
As one of the top recruits in the country, Simmons was always going to spend just one year in college thanks to a provision in the 2005 CBA that required NBA draft prospects be at least 19 years old AND one year removed from high school, and that's where most of his frustration stems from. Simmons seems particularly annoyed by the idea that the NCAA promotes amateurism and the fiction of the student athlete when everyone knows the very best will never get to take advantage of that "free education."
At one point, Simmons just straight up stopped going to classes because his grades were good enough from the first semester, that there was no way he'd lose eligibility for the second.
"I got B's and C's; I'm not going to class next semester because I don't need to," Simmons said. "… I'm here to play, I'm not here to go to school."
"[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 bullshit if it's not going to help me?"
He's got a point!
The one-and-done rule is not the NCAA's doing, obviously, but coupled with the amateur student athlete fantasy it sells, and you see just how exploited the athletes really are. Simmons again, on how "messed up" the NCAA is:
"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."
Another point well taken!
Simmons also said he's going to continue to use his position to highlight just how shameless the NCAA is, and how it reduces its precious "free education" to a year-long albatross. Simmons may not have had a voice at LSU, but he does now and he's using all of it.