The seventh-round NFL draft pick has a lot on his mind. Polite, smart and built like a pillar, this young man isn't as rich as many players drafted this year, but he's still looking at a contract offering more money than he's ever seen—and it's keeping him from focusing on his game. "You know, I just go home and see nieces and nephews with their hair not done, snotty noses, dirty clothes,” he says.

The NFL Players Association formed its Financial Advisors Program in 2002 to help stop the flow of former players into bankruptcy. (As a financial educator at June's annual NFL rookie camp, this writer taught a four-day crash course for draft picks on managing a drastically different, potentially richer, life.) According to program director Dana Hammonds (pictured above), "It's the first of its kind in pro sports.” Hammonds and her crew work to extend players' riches and livelihoods by offering financial education, resources and a list of 475 certified financial professionals to help manage football dough and guard players from scammers. The need to steer a tight checkbook becomes job number one. A few years ago, Simeon Rice of the Buccaneers lost $2.4 million to a white-haired slickster posing as a financial advisor. Rice said in a TV interview—which is played at camp—that this man's con was tight. "On the street, you can see the hustle coming...This guy's in a Brooks Brothers suit and speaking grammatically correct English.”

Continue reading this story in the October ‘06 issue of KING (#36)