Meghan Fellows, Staff Writer
As the winter sports season trudges on, the NBA will be advertising new players, and a new season. Ben Simmons, the number one overall pick in the NBA draft in June, is bringing a new controversy to light as he embarks on his basketball career with the 76ers.
Simmons knew from a very early age that he wanted to be a basketball player. Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, he was known as one of the best basketball players in the country. He soon moved to Florida, where he played for Montverde Academy, grew to be over 6 feet tall and only lost one game in the three years he played for the school. He was then ready for the pros. But there was one thing standing in his way; the rule that was established in 2005, stating that players entering the draft had to be 19-years-old, and a year removed from high school.
This rule has hindered many NBA players, and other players on track to go pro as well. They apply to college with the sheer intention of dropping out after 1 year of education. Joseph Cozza, a baseball player at Utica College believes that the rule is an inconvenience for the players trying to go pro.
“I think it’s a waste of time. These kids nowadays are so talented in sports such as baseball, basketball, hockey and football players. Football players especially. Really, they’re not going for school. If they can already go to the league and develop at the highest level, they should do that instead of wasting time at a D1 school just to drop out,” Cozza stated.
Simmons figured out the lowest GPA he needed in order to stay in school, and only aimed for that when he ended up at Louisiana State University. He wanted to get into the NBA and had zero interest in the education that was being offered to him.
Simmons had another way to make this whole one and done rule all worth while- paying college athletes. That is a whole other argument in itself.
Simmons states, “The players get nothing. They say an education, but if you’re only going to be here for one year, that’s not much of an education.”
Jay Bilas, a college basketball analyst for ESPN, told the New York Times that it wasn’t really Simmons fault, but more LSU’s fault in the end.
“It has always been in the schools hands whether a player goes to class or not. LSU could have demanded that he go to class, irrespective of the one and done rule.”
Joseph Cozza stated that he believed that only D1 athletes be paid for their contribution in college sports. “Those athletes bring in so much money for the school. They should be compensated in some way just for that reason.”
In the argument of college athletes getting paid to play, that really relies on the school, and how much revenue the school can dish out to an athlete that is only going to be there for 1 year. Is that a wealthy investment to pay for someone to play for them just for that short amount of time?
Ben Simmons has a documentary that is available for viewing on Showtime called One and Done. Check it out for yourself, and see if his argument stands.