For former NFL player Adewale Ogunleye, seeing someone, let alone an athlete, struggle to manage money boils him to his core.
So he does something about it.
Knowing that his average playing career in the NFL is less than four years, Ogunleye’s “light bulb” moment came during his second year in the league. That’s when he said that a teammate who was a high selection in this year’s draft asked him for a loan.
“I’m looking at this guy who’s thinking, ‘I’m not set up.’ I only had a minimum wage for beginners and you’re asking me for a loan? “I realized there was a problem,” Ogunleye, who played 11 NFL seasons, told USA TODAY Sports.
Walter Stith, financial advisor at Morgan Stanley’s Global Sports and Entertainment division, says there is a simple reason to see prosperity grow, and it is based on the average time an athlete has to produce income in a particular sport.
The average career length for athletes in each of the four major North American sports is less than four years.
“I would not necessarily say that it is a temptation when it comes to the loss of wealth. I would say that it is more about obligation,” said Stith, a former NFL and CFL player. “Most of these athletes feel obligated to help friends and family and that creates a problem. Financial knowledge as a whole must be a priority in our education system, especially when it comes to managing black wealth and black entrepreneurship.”
This is one of the reasons why Ogunleye partnered with UBS and its athletes and entertainers segments, helping their peers and underserved communities become financially savvy.
Its partnership, for example with the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, can help educate enrolled students at the 14 league schools.
UBS and SIAC have announced a virtual series, “ELEVATE! Create and Preserve Black Wealth”, designed to introduce black people to job opportunities in the financial industry while providing tools to become more skilled at managing money.
During these sessions, which will be led by Ogunleye, students enrolled at SIAC institutions can discuss with leading experts and former athletes about ways to build wealth and pass it on to future generations.
Former NBA player Allan Houston and SIAC commissioner Greg Moore are part of the discussions, which have three more sessions scheduled for the spring semester.
Among the skills that will be taught include creating a strong financial base by developing smart habits, learning to build, maintain and protect your credit score and preparing for life after college with courses on taxes, home ownership and investing in 401 ( k) -planer.
Manage NFL Wealth for a New Career
Ogunleye, the son of a Nigerian, grew up on the projects in Staten Island, New York, which he said provided the fuel for his NFL career.
In 2004, after a total of 15 sacks in his career, he was transferred from the Miami Dolphins to the Chicago Bears. Ogunleye signed a $ 34 million sex deal and received $ 15 million in signing bonuses.
By learning the lessons he learned from managing his NFL million, he gained a second career in the financial world, and now he is head of sports and entertainment at UBS.
One of his first assignments was to reach out to SIAC Commissioner Moore.
Headquartered in Atlanta, SIAC consists primarily of historic black colleges and universities competing in NCAA Division II, with campuses stretching from Ohio to Georgia.
“I personally believe that income inequality is an existential threat,” Moore said. “Some of our HBCUs are located in some of the most economically underserved, disconnected communities in the country.”
Some communities where these schools are based have poverty rates well above the national average, which is 11.4%. Tuskegee, Alabama (Tuskegee University) has a poverty rate of 28%; Albany, Georgia (Albany State University) is at 31%, while Fort Valley, Georgia (Fort Valley State University) is among the worst, with 42% of the population living in poverty.
One way that SIAC is advancing in financial knowledge is through a program called Tomorrow’s Talent, which aims to help students eventually get summer internship opportunities and careers with UBS.
Moore also reached out to Houston, who retired in 2005 after playing 12 seasons, to gauge his interest in “ELEVATE”, the virtual event series aimed at providing knowledge about financial well-being.
Moore believed it would be crucial to get Houston, now in a leadership role as special assistant to the general manager of the New York Knicks, to share his story and perspective on his career. He also wanted Houston to discuss his mindset as an entrepreneur and as someone who makes a social impact with his organization FISLL. (Faith, integrity, sacrifice, leadership and heritage).
Houston said the idea of preparing for the next step financially was important to him because he learned how to handle money from his father, who was an assistant coach in Louisville (and later the first black basketball coach in Tennessee), and his mother, a financial Louisville Assistant Director while running a logistics and transportation business.
“When you can share these stories and let students know, and can give them the right information, access, and opportunity, they can really create a lot more than we can imagine,” said Houston, who signed nearly $ 120 million in NBA contracts. . “It’s just that they have to have the tools and the vision and the implementation strategy.”
Ogunleye, Moore and Houston agree that there is a misconception about the term “financial literacy”, as they say that having a lot of money is not a prerequisite for managing money.
Changing the face of the financial services sector, not only through a greater diversity of those working in the field but also in creating and maintaining a talent pipeline, is one of the main goals of the partnership.
“You’re not just budgeting your money, you’re budgeting your lifestyle,” Houston said. “Fundamental financial knowledge is just understanding and seeing what you have versus what you actually need, where you can save and start building a lifestyle habit.”