|Young has spent somehow almost $ 26 million since joining the league in 2006. (US Presswire)|
Last September, weeks after the Bills cut Vince Young, the lawyer for the former first-round pick suggested that Young was on the verge of bankruptcy even though he had signed a contract in 2006 that guaranteed him $ 26 million. (In related news: Spending $ 5,000 a week at the Cheesecake Factory isn’t a solid financial plan.)
Young’s story is not unusual; in fact, it’s often the all-too-familiar conclusion to what happens when fame and fortune are imposed on athletes in their twenties with no idea how to handle either. . (ESPN’s 30 for 30 devoted a documentary to the phenomenon.)
Not unusual either: Young’s situation will get worse before it gets better. Which brings us to the latest revelation, courtesy of Young’s former financial adviser, who said he arranged a seven-figure high-interest loan for Young during the 2011 lockout so that the quarterback could throw himself a $ 300,000 birthday party – even though Young was running low on funds at the time.
First off, what does a $ 300,000 birthday party look like? There are better real life transformers and time machines out there, because anything less than that is a scam. Second, who is the financial advisor who gives the green light to a seven-figure loan knowing full well their client is practically broke? It’s more like your drunk college roommate who thinks using the last 20 dollars in your bank account to buy six cases of Milwaukee’s Best is a great idea, except 15,000 times worse.
Either way, we know of Young’s predicament because The Associated Press obtained a transcript of the deposition given by Ronnie Peoples, president and CEO of Peoples Financial Service Inc. Peoples said last month that he contacted Pro Player Funding LLC about the loan after learning that Young had already paid for the party.
“I think we could still have gone ahead and survived until the next season, but [Young] had an anniversary coming up for which he paid 300 and a few thousand dollars, ”Peoples said. This is what prompted this call [to ProPlayers Funding]. ”
Young’s attorney, Trey Dolezal, responded, “I have no idea what he’s talking about with the birthday party and neither does Vince.”
Young is contesting a $ 1.7 million judgment won against him by Pro Player Funding last summer. According to the AP, the sum represents the balance of $ 1.9 million borrowed at 20% interest on Young’s behalf in May 2011. He testified in December that he “probably” signed some of the loan documents in front of a notary in Houston. law firm, but did not need the loan. (Weird, we know.)
Peoples disputed Young’s account, testifying that he discussed the loan with Young and that the funds from said loan were used to meet the quarterback’s “obligations”.
Dolezal, in turn, disputes that Young and Peoples ever met to discuss the loan.
“[Young] thinks he may have signed three notarized papers, but he was told these were bank instruments, that they needed his signature for some bank documents, ” Dolezal said.
Wherever the truth is about lending, we can all agree on this point: Young was not good with money.
Peoples, who were asked to describe Young’s financial situation in May 2011, call him “Not good.” And Dolezal admitted that millions of people could have been missing during that time.
“The point is, we don’t have any documentation to show where about $ 5-7 million is,” he said.
It’s hard to feel sorry for a grown man who somehow spends tens of millions of dollars. But this problem permeates professional sports, and it doesn’t have to be. Because as serious as the NFL claims to be about player safety, it has to be just as fanatical when it comes to financial management.
It doesn’t absolve Young for being stupid with his money, but there’s no reason a 29-year-old who signed an eight-figure contract in 2006 should be nearly broke, either.