With the second round of the NCAA Tournament wrapping up Sunday, lots of people are talking about the NCAA but not all of the talk is about basketball.
While sports lovers have been glued to their TVs watching the round the of thirty-two play out, many have another topic on their minds.
In this case, it’s a video released by the organization last week depicting a “day in the life” of a student-athlete. One that many have come out and said is completely inaccurate.
“I think the uproar is that it’s a misrepresentation of the student-athlete,” Dane Simmons Jr. explained.
Simmons, who was a wide receiver at ISU from 2002 to 2006 says that he feels the video is actually the NCAA trying to represent the 20-hour limit student-athletes are supposed to spend on their sport each week. Something he said athletes regularly exceed.
“After you get done with classes and watching film and weightlifting, doing all these certain things, game time, travel time, you’re well over forty hours a week,” he said.
Simmons remembers running to classes and struggling to keep his eyes open in lectures between workouts and practices.
This isn’t to say Simmons wasn’t enjoying his time as a student-athlete. “I loved every minute of it,” he said, but it was a process that was completely draining.
“In the commercial, it didn’t depict that,” Simmons said. “It didn’t depict total exhaustion, you know, and so that’s what I wanted to see.”
“I remember, my wife now, at the time she was my girlfriend, she would cut off my ankle tape every night because I was so exhausted. I mean, just looking at that it was like come on, you guys could tell a better story than this.”
In Simmons’ eyes, that story is about the way collegiate athletics shape people and the work ethic and motivation it gives them for the rest of their lives.
“It was tough, but that toughness prepared me for what I’m going through now and the toughness prepared me to excel and that’s what I’m doing now,” he explained. “And so that’s the story the NCAA can be telling.”
While this may be a bad look for the NCAA, Simmons said there’s a lot of things the organization does right to help prepare these student-athletes to be good people and strong leaders.