NEW YORK (CNN) – Think all professional athletes are rolling in money, think again. According to Sports Illustrated, many football players end up broke.
Jadeveon Clowney, the number one NFL draft pick, inked a 22 million contract with the Houston Texans, but if he, and other top players, wants that money to last, they have to be smart about it, because the odds are against them.
78% of former NFL players are bankrupt, or very close to bankrupt according to an analysis by sports illustrated.
Former Tennessee Titan Eddie George says he’s made millions and has lost millions. Another former titan, Myron Rolle, says he had no idea about credit when he was drafted.
Problem is, many rookie NFL players are coming straight from school, and have never earned a paycheck that big. Some go on huge spending sprees, but forget to factor in taxes and agent fees, and don’t forget about family members who come knocking the minute a contract is signed.
For its part, the NFL does what it can. The league offers courses at some colleges so players can acquire some financial know-how before going pro.
Once drafted, the NFL has a rookie orientation, which includes some financial advice and some teams are taking action. The Seattle Seahawks start orientation by showing draftees a copy of their credit score.
A reality check that all of us, not just NFL players, likely need.