SBD/April 14, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Lockout Watch, Day 34: Players Obtaining Loans With High Interest Rates

NFL players "from at least 16 teams have already sought out extremely aggressive short-term loans with high interest rates" as the NFL lockout enters its second month, according to sources cited by Rand Getlin of THEPOSTGAME.com. A financing source said that the interest rates range from 18-24%, "and upon default, they can rise as high as" 36%. The NFLPA last month announced that it "would begin payouts" from its lockout fund. But while that "lifeline was created in part to keep opportunistic lenders at bay, the finances offered by the NFLPA -- as much as $60,000 for some players -- won't solve all financial ills," and "much to the chagrin of some members of the union, the high-risk loan market has begun to attract players." Getlin noted "much was made of the NFLPA's preparation for the current lockout, which focused on raising players' financial awareness and surviving a months-long battle with no paychecks in sight." But a financial adviser said that it is "becoming clear many players didn't follow the union's advice." The adviser added that he believes as many as 10% of the "nearly 1,800 players in the league have secured some form of lending at this point," and he estimated that at least another 20% are "in the process of securing lending now" (THEPOSTGAME.com, 4/12). In West Palm Beach, Ben Volin wrote, "How can players ALREADY be seeking loans? ... For a significant number of players to already be taking out a high-interest loan shows how many athletes live above their means and don't get meaningful financial guidance" (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 4/13).

GREATER GOOD: In Ft. Worth, Clarence Hill Jr. reports Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware is "not accepting any money" from the NFLPA's lockout fund. Ware: "We have $60,000 that is supposed to be paid to us. I gave my money back to help out other guys that don't have as much money. That is going to help out and bring us closer together." Hill notes players who were "on a roster every week for the past two years will receive $60,000," while players "with less roster time will receive less" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/14). 
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