Ben Simmons has been a vocal critic of the NCAA, and in a new interview, he takes even more shots at the organization and LSU, the school where he spent a year before going pro.
In a conversation with Uninterrupted’s Maverick Carter, the 76ers star tees off on the one-and-done rule, claiming he learned more from his first year in the pros than he did the entire time he was in Baton Rouge.
“If we didn’t [go to college for a year], 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.”
“I think I would have learned a lot more by being around professional athletes. Looking at it now, I don’t even know what I learned financially or just being a person at LSU. I think I’ve learned a lot more with this last year being in Philly and being a pro, than I did at LSU.”
…Well, maybe that’s because you never went to class, Ben. Unfortunately, what Simmons still doesn’t seem to understand is that the one-and-done rule is actually the NBA’s, not the NCAA’s. Regardless, he didn’t stop there, criticizing the organization and LSU for exploiting his image.
“When they started asking more of me, like more photos shoots and meeting with them and things I had to do throughout the day. I’d have class and then I would go lift, have practice, then ‘Oh Ben, you have to stay and do media and the photo shoot. I would be kind of annoyed, like ‘What am I getting out of this?’”
“It’s a dirty business… You have to put up with it, but at the same time it taught me a lot. I have an image and people use it, but now I have the opportunity to control that, what I do and who I work with. It helped me, but at the same time I felt it was very sneaky.”
We can debate about the one-and-done rule all day, but until the NBA, the Players’ Association, and the NCAA come to an agreement, it ain’t going anywhere. Also, how telling is it that Simmons blasts the rule, LSU, and in turn, Johnny Jones for not teaching him anything while John Calipari’s biggest stars always praise their days in Lexington and continue to give back to the program?
Watch the interview with Simmons at the link below, or do yourself a favor and watch John Wall’s UK Athletics Hall of Fame speech instead. You’ll thank me later.