A full rogues’ gallery of shady agents and financial advisers have populated sports pages over the years: Luigi DiFonzo, Marc Dreier, Robert Allen Stanford, Triton Financial, Kirk Wright.
And the big picture never seems to change: In 2009,Sports Illustrated found 78 per cent of NFLers were either bankrupt or under severe financial stress within two years of retirement, and 60 per cent of NBA players were bankrupt within five.
In 2002, U.S. News & World Report reported that 78 NFL players had been defrauded of a combined $42 million over the previous three years.
Maybe if the NCAA or professional unions made financial educations a top priority, maybe if the Federal Trade Commission punished even one agent, maybe if we all didn’t chalk up athlete busts to human nature; maybe then the stories would be different or at less frequent. But as things stand, here’s what all the swindling has taught us: You don’t have to be physically gifted to make a pile of cash in sports. You just have to find someone who is — and rip him off.
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