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The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network Looks at Bankrupt Athletes

posted by Bob Lawless

In its acclaimed "30 for 30" series, ESPN is airing a show about professional athletes who go bust after leaving their sport. From ESPN's web site (which also has a trailer for the show):

According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, 60 percent of NBA players are broke within five years of retirement. For 78 percent of NFL players, it takes only three years. Sucked into bad investments, stalked by freeloaders, saddled with medical problems, and naturally prone to showing off, many pro athletes get shocked by harsh economic realities after years of living the high life. Drawing surprisingly vulnerable confessions from retired stars like Keith McCants, Bernie Kosar and Andre Rison, as well as Marvin Miller, the former executive director of the MLB Players Association, this fascinating documentary digs into the psychology of men whose competitive nature can carry them to victory on the field and ruin off it.

The episode, simply titled "Broke," airs in the U.S. at 8:00 PM (ET) on October 2 on ESPN.

Hat tip to my former student and current Chicago bankruptcy lawyer, Frank Venis, for drawing this to my attention. And, yeah, I know it has not really been the "Entertainment and Sports Programming Network" since 1985, but the full name has been seared into my brain ever since a moment of personal ignominy in a college sports trivia contest.

Comments

And then there are those former pro athletes who go to any lengths to maintain the lifestyle, such as the former Major Leaguer who officed two doors from me. He was ostensibly trading Forex. Then about five years ago, the FBI rolled up in a bunch of black Cadillac Escalades, cleaned his place out, and hauled him off to the Greybar Hotel. Another Ponzi scheme.

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless (rlawless@illinois.edu) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.

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