10 Athletes Who Desperately Need Financial Counseling

This guest post is offered via courtesy of Jena Ellis of onlinecertificateprograms.org.

Athletes make more money than they know what to do with. As soon as they sign that million or multi-million dollar contract, all self control goes out the window. Before they know it, they’ve got mansions, luxury cars, fine jewelry and other extravagant items in their name. Of course this isn’t true for all athletes, but most struggle to spend and save wisely. With a little dose of reality and some professional financial counseling, these 10 athletes can finally get their money in check.

  1. Travis Henry

    Former football player Travis Henry could have possibly saved his career if he had received some much-needed financial counseling early on. If you know anything about Henry’s personal life, then you know that his money problems were amplified by his huge family. Henry had nine children from nine different mothers. Not only had Henry fallen behind on child support payments, but the troubled player had also been busted for his involvement in a cocaine trafficking ring. In 2009, Henry was sentenced to three years in prison for financing the drug trafficking operation.

  2. Dez Bryant

    Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant may have been a rookie last year, but he certainly didn’t act like one. Bryant’s love of expensive jewelry proved to be a big problem for the NFL newbie. In March 2011, Bryant was slapped with two lawsuits seeking more than $850,000. One of the suits against Bryant for nonpayment of $260,000 worth of jewelry was settled, but the other lawsuit seeking about $600,000 for jewelry, sports tickets and repayment of loans from his Oklahoma State days is still pending. In addition to some good financial counseling, Bryant will also need more money or a new contract to save his finances.

  3. Mike Tyson

    Mike Tyson has been plagued by legal issues and financial troubles throughout his boxing career. Tyson’s absurd spending sprees on cars, mansions, diamond necklaces and pet tigers, coupled with his lack of financial guidance caused him to squander his multi-million dollar fortune. In addition to his extravagant purchases, Tyson also lost millions in his failed marriages and countless legal issues. In 2003, the former heavyweight champion filed for bankruptcy after being $23 million in debt.

  4. Antoine Walker

    Former NBA and current minor league basketball player Antoine Walker was in deep trouble when he got caught writing 10 bad checks worth $1 million at several Las Vegas hotels and casinos. Walker was arrested at a Lake Tahoe casino shortly after and pleaded guilty to one felony count. In 2010, the young player filed for bankruptcy protection with debt totaling $12.7 million. Walker’s gambling problem pushed him deeper and deeper into debt. Had he received financial counseling during his NBA career, he may not be a bankrupt basketball player today.

  5. Michael Vick

    Michael Vick’s career took a turn for the worse when he was caught in the highly publicized dog fighting scandal. It’s clear that Vick lost millions from his NFL suspension and dropped endorsement deals, but the fact is that the quarterback’s finances were already in shambles before the incident. Vick’s fortune was ruined from poor financial management and bad investment decisions. Vick owed millions in loans he used to finance a few business ventures of his own and was in debt with several different companies. In addition to his bad business investments, Vick also had a spending problem. Vick bought six homes and several cars and continued to financially support his family and friends. In 2008, Vick filed for bankruptcy protection because he was $10 to $50 million in debt.

  6. Latrell Sprewell

    Latrell Sprewell’s NBA career was a rocky one, filled with lots of drama and financial troubles. Toward the end of his basketball career, Sprewell decided not to accept a three-year, $21 million contract extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves because he felt it wasn’t enough money. Sprewell did not return to the league and garnered more attention for his financial problems. In 2007 and 2008, Sprewell’s home was foreclosed and his million-dollar yacht was repossessed and sold at an auction because he had fallen behind on payments. Greediness got the best of Sprewell and he’s paying for it now.

  7. John Daly

    John Daly’s larger-than-life persona and addiction problems have managed to get in the way of the talented golfer’s career. For years, Daly has struggled with alcohol addiction and a serious gambling problem that has cost him between $50 and $60 million over the course of 15 years. On top of his gambling debt, Daly also had his million-dollar home foreclosed in 2009 and he lost a lucrative endorsement deal with Hooters. The troubled golfer is much slimmer and healthier these days, but we know he could still use some financial counseling to make a winning comeback.

  8. Helio Castroneves

    In 2008, Brazilian auto racing driver Helio Castroneves found himself in trouble with the IRS for allegedly committing tax evasion during the years of 1999 and 2004. Castroneves failed to report about $5.5 million in income to the IRS and was charged with conspiracy and six counts of tax evasion. In 2009, Castroneves was acquitted of the tax evasion charges and the conspiracy charge was dropped. Castroneves could have saved himself the trouble of going to court and almost spending several years in prison and almost ending his career by getting financial counseling.

  9. Jack Clark

    Former baseball player Jack Clark may have been a smart player, but he definitely wasn’t a smart spender. Clark owned 18 luxury cars, including a Rolls Royce and a Ferrari. He was notorious for buying and selling cars whenever he got bored with the ones he had. Clark’s obsession with expensive automobiles drove him into debt and he ended up losing his million-dollar home and drag racing business in the process. Clark filed for bankruptcy in 1992. Even though the former slugger supposedly bounced back in the late 1990s, he could still use some financial counseling to avoid another financial disaster.

  10. Evander Holyfield

    Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield may have had a rich career in boxing, but has managed to squander his fortune by overspending and making bad business decisions. In 2008, the four-time champ’s $10 million mansion was foreclosed and the mother of one of his children sued him for unpaid child support. Holyfield also owed $550,000 in loans used to pay for landscaping on his 235-acre property. The boxer could clearly use a lesson in money management to stop his debt from getting any larger.

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I am not a 'journalist' by trade, nor do I present myself as such. I am a wife, mother, and passionate Georgia Bulldog fan. That's it. I write. You read.