Former Auburn women’s basketball player Sierra "Cece" Sims faked her own kidnapping while struggling to deal with the pressures of being a student-athlete, Sims and her family revealed.
Sims disappeared in 2008 just weeks into her freshman year, sparking a statewide search by local police, state troopers and the FBI. When she finally reappeared 24 hours later and approached a police officer on the street, she had a wild story: She’d been grabbed by a man and a woman, thrown in a truck and had drugs and alcohol poured down her throat.
But the cops quickly sniffed out the hoax. She’d actually just been hiding out at a local Wal-mart and abusing alcohol.
Sims said she didn’t want to play basketball, she wanted to play music like her dad, Tommy Sims, who cowrote the Eric Clapton hit "Change the World."
"I kind of made a lot of bad decisions at Auburn. 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," Sims said in a video posted on the website iamsecond.com.
Sims wasn’t charged. She’s living with her parents and undergoing counseling, her mom says.
"It’s hard," Kathie Sims told ABC’s "20/20". "She’s not out of the woods yet. But she is going to be OK."
As for what she would’ve done differently, Kathie Sims says, "I would’ve pulled back the reins on her basketball, and helped teach her more about balance.
"And, if your child calls you from college and says, ‘I don’t want to be here anymore. Come get me,’ hear ’em out."