Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons has never been shy about his disdain for the NCAA's business practices. The former LSU star doubled down on some of his criticisms in an interview with Uninterrupted, calling the NCAA a "dirty business."
"It's a dirty business… You have to put up with it, but at the same time it taught me a lot," Simmons said. "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."
Simmons, 20, spent one year at LSU before entering the NBA. His lone season in Baton Rouge was as a disappointment from a team perspective, as the Tigers missed the NCAA tournament. The point forward also made no qualms about it being a business relationship with the school, since he pulled out of spring semester classes after the season ended.
"The NCAA is really f--ked up," Simmons said in a Showtime documentary about his freshman season. "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."
After the Philadelphia 76ers selected Simmons first overall in the 2016 NBA draft, he sat out the entire 2016-17 season due to a foot fracture he suffered during training camp. He told Uninterrupted his pseudo-redshirt year with the Sixers taught him more than anything he learned at LSU.
"I think I would have learned a lot more by being around professional athletes," Simmons said. "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."
Bashing the NCAA is nothing new. Critics have long clamored for players to receive their fair share of what has become a multibillion dollar business. What makes Simmons and guys such as UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen unique is their willingness to speak out on the issues while still in college.