Young Athletes Thirst for Knowledge

Please say a prayer for all of those who were affected by the attacks of September 11, 2001, on this solemn day of remembrance.

Earlier this week I had lunch with a recent good friend of mine by the name of Lincoln Kennedy. Lincoln was the no.9 overall draft choice in the NFL in 1993. He is a man who is well-versed, wise, and still quite successful. But he will also admit to the many challenges NFL athletes face after their playing days are over. This was a conversation that was quite eye-opening and enlightening as to how much players are kept in the dark when it comes to keeping control of their lives. I wish you could have been a fly on the wall for that conversation.

Last night, I was speaking with a client about his life plan after football and was graciously interrupted by another young man who was curious as to the content of our conversation. As he sat down he proceeded to explain his plan for life after football, detailing each step in detail and how he was going to pull it off to become successful. I was actually complementary of him in that he was at least thinking about the future.

After he told his story about the business he plans to start, I then asked, “So what is the business structure of this company you plan to start? LLC? LLP? LLLP? LP? S-Corp? Sole-Proprietor? Partnership? Joint Venture?

As he reared back in his chair he chuckled and said, “Whoa! What the hell? I don’t know about all of that!”

It did not take long before he was asking questions with a little more purpose and meaning and trying to understand why no one in his circle of advisors, including his agent and financial advisor, never took the time to explain the concepts I explained to him in such a way that he could simply understand. I have to say, I was not too shocked no one took the time. Not because he could not grasp the concepts, because he is actually very bright, and for all of those who stereotype athletes; YES, he has graduated from college.

I would have to say, he left that chance meeting with a new outlook on where he was in life and where he was headed.

The beauty of the whole meeting came at the very end when another teammate who was nearby occupied with other activities, eventually heard a silence in our conversation and said, “Hey, why did you guys get quiet? I was actually listening to what you guys were saying.”

It just goes to show, that athletes are yearning for the knowledge that has not been given to them because there are those who try and control player’s finances to make themselves a “buck”, while never truly educating their clients on why they are doing what they do.

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