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Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes

Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes

1. Sandy Koufax


In February 2009, the Hall of Fame southpaw was among the athletes listed as an investor in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme in a federal bankruptcy court filing. In February of this year, Koufax said he lost more money on taxes he paid on that money than to Madoff. Former New York Met second baseman Tim Teufel is also listed among the Madoff investors.

Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes

2. Scottie Pippen


The former Chicago Bulls star was awarded $2 million in a legal malpractice case last June, after he sued two attorneys for not properly overseeing his purchase of a private jet. Shortly after the purchase, reportedly for $4.3 million, the jet was grounded because it needed costly repairs. Pippen has reportedly lost $120 million in earnings over the years.


In January 2008, Pippen made a comeback to basketball at age 42 to offset some of his losses by touring Scandinavia and played two played (see above) for one of Finland’s top teams, Torpan Pojat.

Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes

3. Lenny Dykstra


The former major league outfielder rose to prominence beyond the diamond as a financial analyst after his played days ended in 1998. That included regular media slots doling out financial advice and even founding a niche luxury magazine for pro athletes in 2008 named The Players Club. But Dykstra’s luck tumbled soon afterwards, when he filed for bankruptcy in 2009 with more than $10 million in debts and assets worth less than $50,000.

Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes

4. Antoine Walker


The former Miami Heat forward also filed for bankruptcy in 2010, after reportedly racking up around $1 million in gambling debts. The Chapter 7 liquidation proceedings followed a 13-year career that reportedly brought in $110 million in earnings. In the bankruptcy filing, Walker reported $4.3 million in assets versus $12.7 million in liabilities.

Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes

5. Deuce McAllister


The former New Orleans Saints running back filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 for a Mississippi car dealership he owned. At that time, Nissan said McAllister’s business owed them almost $7 million. The dealership closed that year amid ongoing Chapter 7 liquidation proceedings. McAllister’s other businesses, including other dealerships and a deli chain, were reportedly unaffected.

Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes

6. Mark Brunell


The journeyman NFL quarterback who spent the 2010 season as a member of the New York Jets, filed for bankruptcy in June after he racked up debt for loans to real estate and other ventures that went bust. Some of those deals involved former Jacksonville Jaguars teammates Todd Fordham and Joel Smeenge. In his 2010 filing, Brunell listed $24.7 million in liabilities versus $5.5 million in assets.

Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes

7. Dave Duerson


The former Chicago Bears safety, who retired in 1994 with a pair of Super Bowl rings, cited $14.7 million in liabilities when he filed for bankruptcy in September. Duerson’s company won a $35 million judgement in 2004, but that money has not been paid. He committed suicide in February amid ongoing health concerns.

Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes

8. Scott Eyre


In 2009, the then-Philadelphia Phillies pitcher said he had just $13 in his wallet after most of his accounts were frozen following the Stanford Financial Group fraud scandal. Eyre received a salary advance and ultimately retired in January 2010. Other Major League baseball players affected by the scheme included Johnny Damon, Xavier Nady and Carlos Pena.

Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes

9. Tim Hardaway


The retired Miami Heat point guard was bailed out by his former team last year when Miami Heat Limited Partnership bought Hardaway’s Miami mansion for $1.99 million after the IRS put a tax lien against the property. It is not clear why the team rescued Hardaway, who retired in 2003 and earned an estimated $47 million in his professional basketball career.


Hardaway, now an announcer for NBA-TV, works hard now to manage his money very carefully.

Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Athletes

10. Evander Holyfield


The former heavyweight champion, who reportedly made more than $250 million in his boxing career, made headlines in 2008 and 2009 when his $10 million Atlanta-area home was on the brink of foreclosure. Holyfield also allegedly failed to pay child support and landscaping fees.

Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro Financial Fumbles: How the Economic Crisis Sacked 10 Pro

The financial turbulence of the last several years has left many professional athletes subject to losses from real estate, unprofitable business ventures and fraud schemes. From Hall of Famers to Super Bowl champions, here’s a look at ten current and former professional athletes and how they were personally affected by the financial turmoil of the past five years.

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