​Going for broke: When athletes lose it all


Athletes who are training to attain professional paychecks are undertaking a new kind of training: financial.

CBS News

It's the first Sunday of the NFL regular season and taking the field later today will be a host of new players -- many of them newly-minted millionaires as well. While all are outstanding athletes, some may not be so outstanding when it comes to managing their newfound wealth. Lee Cowan reports our Cover Story:

Jameis Winston, the NFL's #1 overall draft pick this year, is a well-toned walking investment.

The former Florida State quarterback signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a cool $25 million -- making him a pretty wealthy man at the age of just 21.

His skills are undeniable -- and yet even the greats in this game know that skills fade. But many young athletes don't think the money ever will.

"In reality, when I had all that money, money destroyed everything around me that I loved," said former linebacker Keith McCants. Once a fierce defensive player, he was a first-round draft pick out of Alabama back in 1990.

His contract: $7.4 million PLUS one of the largest signing bonuses ever offered to a rookie defender. "Feels great," McCants told ESPN. "It's a dream come true."

He was 20 year old, and became a millionaire overnight.

"Overnight!" he said "What do you do with that money? I'll tell you what I did with that money. I lost everything."

"Where did it all go?" Cowan asked.

"Gave it away."

"So who did you end up giving money to? Friends? Family?"

"Everybody. Anybody who asked. I was from Mobile, Alabama, I'm green. I'm gullible. I didn't know no better."

He made a string of bad investments. Friends he never knew he had, suddenly had a hand out -- and he says he never really knew how to say "No."

He's hardly an isolated case. From Mike Tyson to Bernie Kosar to Antoine Walker, there's a long list of pro athletes once worth tens of millions of dollars who have filed for bankruptcy.

"If you take the top 10 percent of all wage earners in professional sports out, about 90 percent are in financial distress five years after they retire," said Ed Butowsky. That's not an official number -- it's just what Butowsky has seen managing money for pro athletes for years.

"I had someone about three years ago, he called me. He said, 'I want to come in and talk about my portfolio.' And I looked him up and I realized that this man had made about $70 million in his baseball career. He walked in, I saw he had nothing in his hands. And I said, 'You told me you wanted to bring your portfolio for me to look at.' He says, 'I have. I have nothing.'"

The factors contributing to their financial fumbles are numerous. There are plenty of young stars who indulge, living fast, flashy and foolishly -- their egos inflated better than one of Tom Brady's footballs.

But the headlines are also full of those who have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous agents and managers who prey on those who don't know any better.

Which is why Butowksy started holding financial boot camps for athletes. "You just won't go broke if you listen to this," he says.

In addition to basic money management advice, he invites big-name veterans to warn rookies of the dangers wealth can bring.

"It's scary when young, immature kids get a lot of money into their pockets," Winfred Tubbs, a Pro Bowler who played with the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers, told his audience. "If we all made that money at the age of 30 instead of the age of 21, we wouldn't probably be having this conversation."