Freshman Ben Simmons is having a brilliant season for the LSU Tigers as he’s averaging 19.6 PPG, 11.9 RPG and 5.0 APG. For most players, that line would put them in the conversation for the John R. Wooden Award, which names the best player in college basketball each season. Unfortunately, Simmons didn’t meet the academic requirements for the award and thus has been deemed ineligible.
“From what I was told, he didn’t meet all of the requirements,” LSU head coach Johnny Jones told ESPN. “He wasn’t certified by the school to be on the ballot.”
According to the Wooden Award criteria, a player must have at least a 2.0 GPA and be a full-time student. The fact that reports are indicating that Simmons doesn’t meet those standards just goes to show how seriously he took his academics this season. He knew he would only be with the Tigers for one season, so he decided to let his academics slide. It’s unfortunately a result of the NBA‘s rule that a player must be one year removed from high school to enter the draft.
Hopefully, this will force a change in the rule as it makes no sense to have a kid tie up a scholarship when they’re not going to use it for academics.