The Real Problem With Profiting College-Athletes
CHARLOTTE, NC / ACCESSWIRE / January 26, 2021 / With California passing the SB206 Fair Pay To Play Act, the State laws allow student-athletes to profit from their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL), which directly conflicts with current NCAA eligibility rules. While the bill does not come into effect until 2023, other States have passed similar legislation. With this, strong opinions and heated conversations have arisen as well as controversy. Despite this, the NIL and similar legislation are here to stay, with the focus now needing to be placed on the implementation of new ideas to fight financial illiteracy.
According to Ryan Schachtner, financial expert, author, ‘athlete financial whisperer' and founder of A Must Win, the decision to pay athletes while in college based on the amount of revenue they help the NCAA, university, community, and university sponsors generate is not the biggest issue with the new NIL legislation.
While the main argument against paying players seems to be that access to the ‘college athletic platform' allows the athlete the audience to preform and profit at the next level. The reality is very few athletes will make it to that level and if they do, won't make millions of dollars. The fact is student-athletes in general aren't taught how to handle basic finances. Personal opinions on Name, Image & Likeness laws, according to Schachtner, are likely not to change regardless of how passionate opinions are. "It's here to stay, so let's focus on doing the right thing. While intended to help college athletes, the law is likely to cause long-term harm," said Schachtner.
"When did giving an 18 to 24-year-old significant money without guidance on how to take care of it ever worked out for good? Very few student-athletes leave college with any financial literacy skills. Whether they go ‘pro' in a sport, they enter the ‘real world' and have to figure things out as they go, often only learning the ‘right way' after making mistakes, mistakes that can derail them in the short term and if not caught early years into the future."
He continued, "I was referred to a retired Major League Baseball player and when we sat down his financial life was a mess." This represents the majority of professional athletes where 60% of NBA players file for financial bankruptcy within five years of retiring; 78% of former NFL players file bankruptcy or experience financial hardship two years after leaving the league and a large percentage of MLB players file bankruptcy five years after retirement.
Following many encounters with athletes, who faced financial problems, it became clear to Schachtner that most athletes are never taught financial literacy in an understandable manner. Now, the Name, Image & Likeness legislation has put a huge sense of urgency and importance on educating athletes about finances.
"Now we're talking about paying college athletes while in college and not providing any training on how to properly handle money." According to some projections, it is concerning that athletes could receive thousands or millions of dollars of earnings without sufficient training to successfully handle this financial gain. Schachtner explains, "This is a disaster waiting to happen. Outside of reckless spending, they are in prime position to be taken advantage of, which is a common reason many athletes end up hurting financially."
To resolve any future financial problems, Schachtner, who has led financial management firms on the East Coast and worked with esteemed former athletes, has created a program to teach the basics of financial literacy through the language of sports.
With a deep understanding of college sports and an awareness of student-athlete characteristics, Schachtner said, "We tackle topics like credit, taxes, student loans, protecting your identity, how to identify a bad investment, budgeting, how to save, and protecting your biggest asset. We use lessons from professional athletes and teach the student-athlete how to form a game plan against each topic."
"If you want to win a game, you need to understand who you're playing against, their strengths and weaknesses, and then form a game plan that will allow you to win. Like in sports, not every opponent is the same. You need to understand how your actions are going to allow you to win."
According to Schachtner, the goal is twofold. The program aims to level the playing field when it comes to understanding personal finance. "We want to provide the knowledge they need to be able to build the legacy they want." Secondly, the program provides a competitive advantage to partner universities.
"By providing our book, course, and education classes, we allow a coach to sit in front of a prospect and their family and tell them that their university will provide them access to financial literacy for life, thus truly developing the whole athlete. These kids have so much talent beyond sports. They can truly do whatever they want. What we provide is the financial knowledge to be able to make their dreams a reality. This is a way we can have a life-long impact and positively change the lives of the student-athletes."
A Must Win is currently working with colleges and universities in the Big 10, Big South, Big 12, Conference USA, and is currently looking to roll out to multiple NCAA Division II and III programs. In January 2021, Schachtner's first book, Foundation For Financial Excellence: Lessons from the Pros and a Game Plan for the Collegiate Athlete, will be available for student-athletes, graduates, and athletic departments across the nation. Visit www.amustwin.com for more information.
About A Must Win:
A Must Win is a financial literacy education platform designed for student athletes. They offer books, online courses, live or web based bootcamps, and a network for athletic programs and athletes to get the needed financial literacy education translated into the language of sports. For more information, please visit www.amustwin.com
SOURCE: A Must Win