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 seenâ€”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,â€ 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.â€ 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 interviewâ€”which is played at campâ€”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.â€
Continue reading this story in the October â€˜06 issue of KING (#36)