Ben Simmons is still looking for a good nickname.
Here’s one: Captain Obvious.
He at least played the role in his upcoming Showtime Sports documentary, “One And Done,” which airs Friday night, even if it meant being a bit more frank than the typical athlete with the media.
“The NCAA is really f—ed up,” Simmons says, as reported by ESPN. “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.”
Despite having the eventual No. 1 overall pick on his roster, LSU coach Johnny Jones was unable to lead his squad to the NCAA tournament. Yet, he reportedly made $1.5 million. As for Simmons, that eventual top pick? Zip.
Although, if he wanted to put his school’s future tournament hopes in jeopardy with NCAA sanctions, he had many an opportunity, Simmons says in the documentary.
Simmons doesn’t specify who offered these things, but during his time at LSU, he claims to have been offered a “Bentley, a Wraith Rolls-Royce, watches, jewelry, a house … anything. It literally is anything. People coming at you, offering you things.”
He adds that a shoe store salesman would “let me take whatever.”
Simmons’ experience is hardly a unique one. While many student-athletes skate by off-the-field — both in the classroom (Simmons: “I can’t get a degree in two semesters, so it’s kind of pointless.”) and financially — the universities whose names they wear on the front of their uniforms rake in profits.
Says Simmons: “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.”
But the one-and-done star has escaped the state of limbo he was in at LSU and is awaiting his NBA debut with the 76ers. Simmons fractured his foot last month, but is expected to return this season.