Simmons, who graduated from Alabama in May, transferred to Seton Hall to enter the school's MBA program and be closer to her brother, who has end-stage kidney disease. Simmons has one season of eligibility left in basketball, but Alabama blocked her transfer. After Seton Hall appealed the block, the NCAA ruled she would be eligible to play during the 2015-2016 season. Simmons, who redshirted in 2012 after transferring from Rutgers, is already 23 years old and doesn't want to delay a possible professional career another year as her mother is currently working two jobs.
Simmons requested a meeting with Bonner to consider lifting the block, but was denied.
“I received your request for a meeting,” Bonner emailed Donald Maurice Jackson, an attorney representing Simmons. “Because you have already spoken with (deputy athletics director) Shane Lyons and because the NCAA has made its decision in this case, The University of Alabama considers this matter closed. Therefore, there is no reason for us to meet to continue any discussion of this matter.”
Simmons' attorney Donald Maurice Jackson requested a meeting with Bonner last week after the story garnered national attention.
“This action appears mean spirited and totally inconsistent with the principles of higher education and collegiate sports,” he wrote. “Ms. Simmons graduated from the University and opted to return home for her final year of eligibility due to her mother and brother's health issues”
He added, “I have made an effort to resolve this matter with Mr. Shane Lyons (of your Athletic Department staff); this effort failed. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to speak with your relative to this matter.”
- Paul Palladino