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Andre Rison: 'Bad Moon' was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2007.
Andre Rison: 'Bad Moon' was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2007.

Study finds 1 in 6 NFL players go broke within 12 years of retiring

Career length and total earnings have little effect on whether an NFL player will declare bankrupt.
Apr 16th 2015, 5:35 PM 5,856 9

A WORKING PAPER published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found at nearly 16% of NFL players filed for bankruptcy within 12 years of retirement.

The authors of the paper studied 2,016 players drafted between 1996 and 2003.

Despite the fact that players with median-length careers made $3.2 million in NFL salary during that period, the study found that 15.7% of players filed for bankruptcy within 12 years of leaving the league.

That bankruptcy rate is similar to the national average across all 25-to-34 year olds, the study notes, even though NFL players make significantly more money than their 25-to-34 year old peers. The average NFL player makes more money in six years than the average college graduate will make in their lifetime, the study says.

Furthermore, career length and total earnings have little effect on whether an NFL player will declare bankrupt.

“Having played for a long time and having been a successful and well-paid player does not provide much protection against the risk of going bankrupt,” the study says.

NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said the league has yet to review the paper.

– First published 08.35

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