Athletes who’ve gone broke

Yesterday I wrote about a Gwinnett couple who managed to pay off $83,000 in credit card debt.

Today I ran across the following posting on CNBC.com that features the opposite story about wealthy pro athletes. It’s called “15 Athletes Gone Broke.” It was done by Daniel Bukszpan.

“In the annals of ‘easy come, easy go,’ few people see it come and go like professional athletes,” Bukszpan writes. “While it’s true that many take their salaries and invest them in sensible and enduring business ventures, many others squander their multimillion-dollar salaries on expensive cars, jewelry and mansions, and when the checks stop coming in, they have little to show for it.”

The CNBC list of athletes who lost it all:

Mike Tyson, Latrell Sprewell, Lenny Dykstra, Kenny Anderson, Michael Vick, Lawrence Taylor, Johnny Unitas, Dorothy Hamill, Jack Clark, Marion Jones, Derrick Coleman, Mark Brunell, Scottie Pippen, Antoine Walker and Tony Gwynn. (Check out the photo gallery.)

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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39 comments Add your comment

The Economy

April 27th, 2011
7:23 am

Education, Education, Education, Finance classes should be taught in middle schools. The dumming down of America, we start early here.

Sage of Bluesland

April 27th, 2011
7:32 am

Indeed, look no further than “The Economy” and his “dumming down” theory…

(hint: it’s “dumbing”)

TechRon

April 27th, 2011
7:34 am

Hey, I can easily believe most of the names on this list. I cannot believe Dorothy Hamill and Tony Gwynn. Some of these people are just plain stupid (Tyson, Coleman, Dykstra, Anderson, Sprewell, Vick, Taylor, A few have moral problems to boot. Unitas was before there was big money for athletes. But Hamill and Gwynn are hard to understand.

UGASlobberknocker

April 27th, 2011
8:01 am

It is not the school’s but the the parents’ responsibility to teach their children sound financial practices, by teaching and by example. just as in disciplinary issues,

kbp

April 27th, 2011
8:07 am

The Economy. . . . Financial Education is only a part of the equation of good financial management. Some people with a high level of financial education make bad financial decisions at times just like people who have no financial education. Another part of the equation that is rarely talked about is a lack of contentment. That will get an educated man/woman in financial trouble quicker than a lack of education.

Reality Bites

April 27th, 2011
8:09 am

There are fromer Falons with lawn cutting jobs in Atlanat even as we speak. One of em cuts my grass. (Does a good job btw)

Reality Bites

April 27th, 2011
8:10 am

Atlanta”, former*

Observer

April 27th, 2011
8:35 am

TechRon, your harsh characterization of Lenny Dykstra is unwarranted.

Dykstra may have done stupid things to end up in the position he is in, as have ALL of the listed.

But Lenny Dykstra is not dumb, if that is what you are implying.

Destin Dawg

April 27th, 2011
8:38 am

you can easily make a grand a week mowing lawns/landscaping in ca$h ( so VERY low taxes ).. if you can fix install sprinkler systems.. pool service etc… maybe $ 1500 / week.. many college grads with degrees in nothing ( liberal arts ).. are sending out resumes that prove they have no technical abilities… big student loan debt as recently discussed !!!

Chaddd Scottt: looking for a job and a personality

April 27th, 2011
8:44 am

most of them are former basketball players.. shocker

Destin Dawg

April 27th, 2011
8:44 am

we should have practical financial/economics classes….with basic math.. in High School…. many lottery winners are broke. within a few years.. they don’t understand that they didn’t win a Milllion… $ 50 K a year for 20 years is only the INTEREST on a million !!!!!!

Goombah

April 27th, 2011
8:49 am

At least former UGA athletes can get jobs in sanitation or custodial services. That is, if they can’t get jobs at the Waffle House.

Destin Dawg

April 27th, 2011
8:49 am

and yes parents must teach frugality.. personal responsibility.. clip coupons… old school disipline !!

TnGelding

April 27th, 2011
9:16 am

Why would they be any different than the rest of us? Money management is an art.

Destin Dawg

April 27th, 2011
8:38 am

Are you advocating tax cheating? Shame on you! I’d like to see an amnesty. Should bring in at least a trillion bucks. Those of us that didn’t have the ability to pay then could do so now.

JM

April 27th, 2011
9:16 am

I remember reading that the NFL contributes $2 for every $1 a player contributes to his 401(k), and the overall participation rate is still less than 50%. These guys have sh*t for brains.

GT alum in TX

April 27th, 2011
9:35 am

The issue for a lot of the athletes is that they spend the majority of the money they make rather than saving enough to live on for the rest of their lives. Even if you purchase a million dollar home for cash, the recurring costs of taxes, maintenance, and utilities will kill you once you are no longer making big dollars. They also get used to spending money on travel, food, and trinkets and they have trouble adjusting.

spider

April 27th, 2011
9:41 am

all i can do is laugh at these guys and laugh at the idiots who buy tickets to support these guys.

wardenerd

April 27th, 2011
9:43 am

you left off Domonique Wilkins and Emmitt Smith who were given money by the franchise to get them out of hot water financially after they lost it all.

Homer

April 27th, 2011
9:45 am

Amnesty for tax cheats?!?!?!?! What problem does that solve if they are going to cheat again? Why not reform the income tax code so that everyone has to pay a reasonable amount in taxes? Double or triple the number of IRS auditors. If someone gets caught evading taxes then throw them in jail.

SmittyATL

April 27th, 2011
9:46 am

I was surprised to see Johnny Unitas on this list. I don’t know what his salary was, but I do know that he played in an era in which most players had to hold down off-season jobs to make ends meet. Johnny lived and shopped in the working-class neighborhoods in Baltimore. He owned a restaurant (aptly named “The Golden Arm”), and I understand he was involved in some failed business ventures. Nut unlike some of the others here, he never had a fortune to squander.

John

April 27th, 2011
9:54 am

Schools do teach basic math. It only takes a little bit of effort on the part of the athlete/entertainer to apply the math. Schools also teach reading. A little bit of reading would soon inform of the dangers and solutions for these issues.

joe

April 27th, 2011
10:05 am

Wow, a few surprising names on the list…always thought T Gwynn was smart, (a womanizer yes, but smart in seemingly every other way). Others are not surprising at all, Sprewell, Tyson and Vick…idiots at best, thugs at worst who all “hung out” with the wrong crowd and got burned. Dorothy Hammill, are you kidding me?

Not Broken Hearted

April 27th, 2011
10:14 am

I hate to see anyone suffer but it is really hard to have sympathy for people who were paid millions on millions and didn’t have enough self control or foresight to understand that this wasn’t a never ending stream.

Gogetta

April 27th, 2011
10:40 am

Education your exactly correct financial edu. Should be mandatory from 6th grade up

Truth

April 27th, 2011
10:47 am

It is not just education, there are plenty of well educated people up their eyeballs in debt. It takes financial education which is not taught in public schools even in college. You need to learn this from your family but most parents don’t have a clue about financial education.

Wealthy people focus on protection first and lifestyle last. Everyone else does it backwards, lifestyle first and protection last.

Mary

April 27th, 2011
11:04 am

In my opinion, a lot of these athletes are paid WAY TOO MUCH!!!!!

Lawyers are paid way too much.

Policemen, firefighters, and our Military personnel need to be paid like these athletes. Athletes don’t put their lives on the line of any of us. Athletes are not brave men and women protecting our freedoms.

Truth

April 27th, 2011
11:40 am

Mary:
The reason these athletes are paid what they are paid is because they have a SKILL set the average person does not. If things are rare then the price is higher for these things. I don’t many people who can run a 4.0 forty or throw a 90+ fastball. I know a lot of people who could qualify to be a public servant thus their employers don’t need to pay them a lot because there are other people willing to do their job for less pay. It is simple supply & demand.

The Economy

April 27th, 2011
11:42 am

“Sage of Bluesland”, guess you didnt get that as a joke did yah? He is a pefect example.

It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.

The Economy

April 27th, 2011
11:45 am

Scott Pippen is broke, as well as Holyfield.

Truth

April 27th, 2011
1:12 pm

How could Holyfied be broke? He has such a small house and only one wife.

Cramer's Man

April 27th, 2011
1:56 pm

Lenny “Nails” Dysktra is a stock picking genius—Jim Cramer said he’s one of the best in the business. Once lenny starts buying call options and stocks again, he’ll be worth millions!

TnGelding

April 27th, 2011
2:38 pm

Homer

April 27th, 2011
9:45 am

WHAT PART OF A TRILLON DOLLARS DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND? Money that would otherwise go uncollected. You rationalize irrationally when you owe the IRS and don’t have it.

Destin Dawg

April 27th, 2011
4:21 pm

Gelding.. I pay taxes but we desparately need a flat, fair, simplified tax paln… Get rid of all the deductions… then exempt 1st $ 25 K in income… so low income/part timers don’t even need to file.. then a flat 18 or 20% income tax all the way up… plus a federal sales tax 5% or what ever necessary to balance budget…. that will at least get some of our huge ca$h economy with a sales tax… but I raelly HATE the way the Fed spends $$$ we pay in taxes !!!!!!!

MPercy

April 27th, 2011
5:34 pm

Add William “Refrigerator” Perry to the list, but he has thrown away his health too.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2010/news/story?id=6091766

TnGelding

April 27th, 2011
7:05 pm

Destin Dawg

April 27th, 2011
4:21 pm

I knew you personally were above board, but why can’t we go after the “cash” tax evaders? We all know someone that is cheating if we aren’t doing it ourselves.

If only they restricted themselves to spending our tax dollars!

Cheat?

April 28th, 2011
10:21 am

Who needs to cheat on their taxes (evasion) when there are plenty of legal ways to avoid taxes? NOTE: tax evasion is not the same thing as tax avoidance. There’s a reason our own Governor Deal was able to legally pay an effective income tax rate of 1% not long ago…

Tired of BS

April 28th, 2011
2:49 pm

It comes down to how you are raised. Many of the young players may have had single mom’s who raised them to be focused on one thing… pro sports. The idea of education is foreign to them because they were not raised to believe that education is the best plan B you can have. They arIt comes down to how you are raised. Many of the young players may have had single mom’s who raised them to be focused on one thing… pro sports. The idea of education is foreign to them because they were not raised to believe that education is the best plan B you can have. They are managed and handled by snake charmers who know how to manipulate and promote. Look at the criminal actions of professional athletes in the last few years folks. ThIt comes down to how you are raised. Many of the young players may have had single mom’s who raised them to be focused on one thing… pro sports. The idea of education is foreign to them because they were not raised to believe that education is the best plan B you can have. Look at the crime stats over the last few years with athletes, these ain’t choir boys.

Say what you mean

April 29th, 2011
9:51 am

“most of them are former basketball players.. shocker”

Chadd – what am I missing – what does the sport an athlete plays have to do with whether or not they’re broke?

Mary

April 29th, 2011
11:29 am

@Tired of BS – HOW many times to you have to say “It comes down to how you are raised. Many of the young players may have had single mom’s who raised them to be focused on one thing… pro sports. The idea of education is foreign to them because they were not raised to believe that education is the best plan B you can have.”

I counted 4 times in one paragraph….