The Finances of Pro Athletes

by Greg Pollowitz

I can’t say I am at all stunned by this Sports Illustrated story on how poorly pro athletes manage their money.

For example:

By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce.

Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players are broke.

The whole piece here.

This reminded me of an interview I heard with NFL-bust Ryan Leaf years back. The interviewer was asking about his finances now that he was out of the NFL. He responded with something like, “I have all my money in muni-bonds. I don’t have to work ever again.”

And even after a divorce and drug-problems, Leaf still describes himself as “comfortable financially.

It also reminds be on another story I heard when I first moved to Florida. The owner of the Miami Heat, once he signed LeBron James, tried to give LeBron some investing advice. LeBron, again paraphrasing, said, “I use Warren Buffet.”

Some players get it, sadly most do not.

Right Field

Brief chronicles of our sporting times.