Many San Antonio residents may have heard that the former University of Texas and NFL quarterback Vince Young has joined the ranks of professional athletes who have sought bankruptcy protection. It has been reported that the former football star earned $34 million in his six seasons in the NFL, but legal troubles and other issues have now led him into financial turmoil.
Young filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week, listing liabilities of about $1 million to $10 million. He reported that his total assets are valued at no more than $1 million.
Many people cannot understand how professional athletes ever end up with overwhelming debt. How can someone who earns so much money lose it all so quickly?
Sports Illustrated reported in 2009 that just under 80 percent of former NFL players either file bankruptcy or have major financial problems within two years of retirement. There are a number of factors that lead these players to wind up in debt. In some cases, they do not have enough skilled oversight of their finances and they end up spreading themselves too thin supporting others, or in personal spending and investments. In other cases, legal trouble and emergencies result in significant expenses, and while NFL players earn a large income, they retire very young and often before they are financially prepared.
In Young’s case, part of the problem appears to be a $1.8 million high-interest loan that was taken out in his name during the NFL lockout. The interest has now caused the loan to grow to $2.5 million, and Young has claimed that his agent, financial advisor and others took out the loan and never gave the money to Young.
While few Texas residents can relate to earning millions of dollars and ending up unable to pay bills, many can relate to emergencies or failed investments rocking their financial stability. Bankruptcy protection exists in the U.S. to provide consumers with a fresh start when they find themselves facing such problems.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “Vince Young joins many ex-NFL players who see bankruptcy,” David Barron, Jan. 22, 2014