Blowing it all pretty commonOften times when stories about rich athletes all of the sudden being broke get out, blanket judgments seem to be tossed out by anybody with a voice box.
By: Dave Selvig, Sun Sports Editor, The Jamestown Sun
Often times when stories about rich athletes all of the sudden being broke get out, blanket judgments seem to be tossed out by anybody with a voice box.
“How could Vince Young be so stupid?” I think I’ve heard that one 10 times this week. Young, the former star college quarterback, but failed pro, apparently has blown all or most of his $30-plus million in earnings.
These kinds of stories are pretty common, unfortunately. In fact, this week was particularly pathetic, considering who either lost a pile of dough, or who was scammed out of a big wad of sweaty money because that big wad of sweaty money they already had wasn’t enough.
Tales like that of Vince Young aren’t ever understandable, I don’t think. However, when a young kid comes from literally nothing and then all of the sudden has everything, it isn’t shocking when things go haywire.
According to a report by Sports Illustrated, 78 percent of NFL players are bankrupt two years after retirement. Of former NBA players, 60 percent have nothing left five years after their careers are over.
The amazing thing is it’s not just come-from-nothing athletes that get themselves into financial problems, though.
People think, “Well, that would never happen to us. We’re hearty North Dakotans.” Wrong.
Anybody who pays any attention to college basketball certainly knows the names Lute Olson and Ray Giacoletti.
Olson, of course, is the Mayville-born coaching legend, who won 781 games and is best known for his tenure at the University of Arizona, where he won a national championship in 1997.
Giacoletti, a Minot State graduate, went on to head coaching duties at North Dakota State and later at the University of Utah.
Olson and Giacoletti were among a number of high profile college basketball and football coaches to lose “significant amounts of money,” because of investments made with a Houston man named David Salinas, according to the Associated Press. Lute and Ray aren’t likely to get much of that money back, however, after Salinas committed suicide last year after the feds starting digging around his business dealings.
Undoubtedly you’ve heard about college football coach John L. Smith. This guy is a beauty. Not only has he been the head coach at four D-I schools, two of them major programs in Louisville and Michigan State, but he got a plum $850,000 contract to sit in as Arkansas’ head coach for this season after Bobby Petrino got canned for lying to his bosses about his affair with a former Arkansas volleyball player. These people are incredible.
Anyway, Smith, whose been coaching since 1971 and has made millions in his 40-plus year career, is flat broke. He tried to turn those several millions into many more, but bad land deals in Kentucky left him about $26 million in debt. Earlier in the year he filed for bankruptcy.
Contrast all those clowns to what will be going on in Jamestown this weekend.
This afternoon, Jamestown College hosts Valley City State for the Paint Bucket at Rollie Greeno Field. Vikings head coach Dennis McCulloch has been building Valley City State’s program for almost two decades. His career may never yield a big money gig, but he’s managed to make a small school in a little North Dakota city relevant in the NAIA.
Shawn Frank loyally served his time for nearly a decade as an assistant coach at Jamestown College and now is getting a shot to run the Jimmie program. Anybody who was at his introductory press conference and saw the emotion, knows how much this opportunity means to him.
Later tonight, more than a thousand dirt track racing fans will be in town for the final night of racing of the year.
A couple weeks back Sun racing writer whiz Michael Savaloja came up with one of the great quotes of the year from veteran Jamestown Speedway driver Duffy Froemke, who after winning a $1,000 Street Stocks Special said, “I’ve got to buy some tires for the Stampede.”
It has to be extremely difficult to blow a massive fortune. There really isn’t any more to it than a basic understanding of arithmetic. And, if you have a massive fortune, why isn’t that enough? I know it would be for me. In fact, if I have a little extra money left at the end of the month to buy a new set of tires, that’s plenty good for me.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com