By Robert Stitt
By now, most people are aware of the terrible statistics regarding pro athlete finances. Millions of dollars are made during a career, but 80% of NFL players and 60% of NBA players will be broke within five years after leaving their respective league. The numbers are not much better in other pro sports. The unfortunate poster child for this financial mismanagement is former NBA great Antoine Walker. Walker made over $108 million during his 13-year career. Within a year of leaving the league, he filed for bankruptcy claiming $4.3 million in assets to his $12.7 million in debts.
The Global Sports and Entertainment Division of Morgan Stanley is hoping to reverse the negative financial patterns of pro athletes. With $37 billion at his back, Morgan Stanley executive Drew Hawkins put together a team of 80 financial advisers to teach wealth management to any college and pro athletes willing to listen. Hawkins brought in none other than Antoine Walker to talk about what happens when poor decisions are made. Juxtaposed to Walker is a far less successful basketball player, Bart Scott, who made much wiser financial decisions.
According to Black Enterprise, only 2% of the college athletes that receive this information will become a professional athlete, but the wisdom applies to any career. Hawkins said that last year his team was able to work with around 2,600 student athletes and a number of professional sports teams including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Seattle Seahawks.
In addition to athletes, Hawkins is also working with the entertainment industry. He said that Law and Order actress Tamara Tunie has much the same effect on actors that Walker has on athletes. Tunie had a business manager steal millions from her over her career. She is able to talk about good financial management and knowing what is going on with your money.