Ben Simmons Documentary
Reading a couple of articles about the Ben Simmons doc that is coming out on Showtime, I just can't help but to get a little annoyed when I see these kids complain about being exploited about the NCAA.
On one hand, I totally understand that it is unfair that the college or university gets to put these kid's names on a jersey and sell it and the school gets all the profit/money. I also understand that some of these kids do indeed have the talent to go straight to the professional league.
However, when annoys the hell out of me is when I read a quote like this "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.". Uh, so I'd love to ask Mr. Simmons in the scenario where he gets a career ending injury, what does he do then? Perhaps school could have actually helped. But instead, you see school as a nuisance. Yes, at your current talent level, the NBA is knocking on your door and teams are tanking for an opportunity to pick #1 in the draft. But, we've seen plenty of high-potential talent completely flame out or bust in the NBA so there are no guarantees. What I don't really understand is why Simmons didn't go to Europe and play there for 1 year and get paid if he was that sure of himself and thought that school was a waste of his time. Additionally, Simmons did receive money. It was just money that he couldn't physically spend. He got 1 free year at LSU while many others had to pay or take out a loan in order to pay. Perhaps Simmons should also go have a conversation with some athletes that have gone broke after their playing career was done and maybe if they had a degree, they would have had something else to fall back on.
Now, this whole conversation is basically the whole debate about whether college athletes should receive some sort of payments/compensation from the school when the school is making a lot of money off of them. To me, I think one compromise is perhaps to put a percentage of the money that they make off of jersey sales or bowl game appearances or something into a trust fund type of scenario where the player gets X% per year that they attend the school. So, for example, maybe it's something like 10% for 1 year, 25% for 2 years, 40% for 3 years, and 50% for 4 years. Something like this that could potentially incentivized these student athletes to stay in school and actually get an education/degree. I'm not really sure it would really work, but something like that perhaps.
Sorry for venting but had to get some of this off my mind. Basically, I would love to have a sit down with someone like Simmons and go point for point with him. Yes, I'll never understand what it's like to be him but I think some of these guys really don't think about the other side to life and see that school can actually help you out.