An Auburn University Women’s basketball player faked her own kidnapping after succumbing to the pressures of being a college athlete.

Sierra “Cece” Sims earned a full scholarship to the Alabama school 300 miles away from her home in Tennessee. Unfortunately the demands of being a student-athlete were difficult for Sims to adjust to. 

From ABC News:

After only two months at Auburn, Sims, then an 18-year-old freshman, felt like she was under heavy pressure to do well in school and on the court, and had secretly started binge drinking. […]

Students came forward saying there was a commotion at Sims’ dorm on the night she spoke to Fortner. She was seen barreling out the back door, onto her bike and into the dead of night. Soon a search for Sims was in full force.

Read more at ABC News

An Amber Alert was placed into effect as police, State Troopers and FBI agents searched for Sims. Nearly 24 hours passed before a policeman found Sims in a very bizarre way.  “One of the policemen who were searching for her almost hit her,” mother Kathie Sims told ABC. “She looked right at him and said, ‘I’m Cece Sims,’ and he just melted.”

 Sims told authorities that she was kidnapped by a man and woman after walking out of her dorm. They forced pills and alcohol down her throat and drug her into a truck. But this was false. Sims actually faked her kidnapping to escape the pressure she was under, and was actually at the Walmart down the road.

“I didn’t want to disappoint my parents. And so I thought, ‘What better of a way than to say I was kidnapped?’ That way, I wouldn’t have to quit and be known as a quitter,” said Sims, in a video posted on the website Five years later, Sims is struggling to get back on her feet and is living at home and in counseling.

Do we place too much pressure on student athletes? 

Could this situation have been prevented?

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