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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Warren Sapp Bankrupt

According to Sports Illustrated, 78 percent of NFL players and 60 percent of NBA players file for bankruptcy within two years of their retirement. Is exorbitant spending to blame? A lack of financial planning and education? Or a lack of common sense?

This quote came from WP Sports blog post on the bankruptcy of Warren Sapp.  I find it hard to believe the numbers, but still there definitely seems to be a rash of bankruptcies.

Most of us can't relate to professional athletes.  They make a humongous amount of money at a young age over a very short period of time.  They are made to believe they are God's gift to their sport and, unfortunately, to the opposite sex.

I assume the player's union and their agents give them great financial advice.  Still many blow it.

Sapp is the latest to garner attention.  It is reported that he made over $60 million in his career.  Today he is $6.7 million in debt.

I had a financial advisor friend one time tell a story about going to New York in a limo with a player on the Washington Bullets (now the Wizards) - a young rookie who truly was a b-ball phenom.  In the limo was an agent and a couple of "friends."  They were headed to New York to talk about a deal to make a rap record.  Guess who was footing the bill. I n New York, the people at the table weren't happy to see my friend there.  I wonder why.

It is too late to help Sapp, but I feel I should step forward and offer my services to those with the big bucks ( where are you mega millions winners?).  I have a radical approach called "set money aside and invest it conservatively" and then do what you want with the rest.  For example, if we turned back the clock with Sapp, I would have recommended taking $5.0 million (chump change for him back then) and investing it conservatively at 4% to produce $200,000 as long as he would live.  I would have tried to explain that he didn't have to try to get rich - he was already rich.  Then we would have talked about living on $200,000/year when he retired, if that's "all" he had.

Most athletes, I believe, would be able to manage this even after paying child support and alimony. .

It should be noted that athletes get all the publicity.  How many people outside of entertainment come into the big bucks and blow it, absent all the publicity?  There are surely many.  If you get to them before I do, feel free to pass along my advice.


  1. Boggles my mind! How does one get into $6.7 million in debt!

  2. At least Sapp has got a day job now. I see him all the time chatting it up with Brian Billick on ESPN or the NFL Network. He better put in a lot of long hours at work to make up that 6.7 million.

  3. Same thing with many lottery winners, who are ordinary people.

  4. When you're 20 and come from nothing and don't know anything about money but have $10M in your pocket, all the roaches will come out of the woodwork to bleed you dry.