Last Chance U is one of the most popular shows on Netflix right now, but one individual that appeared in the show last season said it’s not all it was cracked up to be.
In an interview with Kentucky Sports Radio, Garden City Community College head coach Jeff Sims says he feels his program was set up by the show and it was more of a reality show than a true documentary.
“The first thing I’d tell you is don’t believe everything you see on TV. That is reality television. The only thing real about that show was the game,” he said.
The cameras were there, but his program didn’t think much of it. After the final product was released, however, Sims felt it painted both teams and junior college football as a whole in the wrong light.
“When you talk about being on the big stage, Last Chance U, the show comes out in July. All the pub and all that stuff comes out when the show is released afterward. Other than us showing up and there being cameras when we got off the bus, I don’t know that any of us gave it any thought other than it being a regular game. On the show, they were talking about us, we were never talking about them,” he said.
One of the biggest moments of tension in the entire third season came in episode three when the Independence Pirates took on Garden City. The Pirate coaching staff, specifically head coach Jason Brown, talked about his hatred for Garden City, and Sims reciprocated the lack of well-wishes.
According to Sims, however, that interview is over two years old and took place when Netflix was actually wanting to make Garden City the team of focus.
“All the interviews with me, those were two years old. Those were not the week of the game. The show was offered to us, and our school decided we didn’t want to be a part of it because our administration was afraid it would be a reality show, not a documentary. They’ve turned it into a reality show. The things being said aren’t true. There’s no truth to an altercation between me and Jason Brown,” he said.
Sims actually believes Brown is a solid guy with good intentions. The show purposely pushed viewers to feel a specific way about the Independence head coach.
“Jason resigned (at Garden City) over the out of state limit. He actually has a pretty big heart and really does care for the kids. He never coached like that at our school,” he said.
The practice videos and interviews weren’t during the same time span, and the actual context wasn’t even remotely close to how they portrayed it in the show. Sims feels the program was set up.
“The practice videos were two years old, the interviews of me talking about Jason were the summer previous. They were discussing possibly going to Independence and they asked me about Independence, it was never in the leadup of a game or anything like that. We kind of feel like we were set up a little bit when it comes to the look of the show,” he said.
Even though the show didn’t make the Garden City program look bad, Sims wants people to know his team does things the right way. He also talked about his former player and Kentucky’s current starting quarterback, Terry Wilson, who apparently had no idea the game would be placed under a microscope the way it was.
“I’ve had lots of people talk about how well we looked versus Independence, and I think that was a storyline they were working toward,” Sims said. “I would tell you that Jason Brown isn’t near as bad a guy as they make him look on that show, and the confrontations and hatred between the schools is a one-way street. We didn’t approach that game any differently. We weren’t aware of any of the things, it’s just not what it was. Terry Wilson didn’t know that game was going to be a big deal. In time, the truth will all come out about how things were really done. Our program is run the way a junior college should be.”
Last Chance U season four has already been announced, where they will head back to Independence, Kansas to cover the Pirates for the second year in a row.
And wouldn’t you know, Garden City is back on the schedule.