Graduation Year

Spring 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

James Taylor

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© 2011 Ryan Pedersen


With players in the National Football League (NFL) making what seems to be the most money out of any entry-level position, it might come as a shock to many people to hear that so many players end up in financial distress afterwards. Sports Illustrated has put this number at 78% of players filing for bankruptcy or are in serious financial trouble within only two years of leaving the league (Torre).

The problems that the players run into are their short careers, which average 3 ½ years, their poor financial decisions and their very optimistic approach to life. The 3 ½ years means that they should approach their employment as more of a lottery winning than a long term career. With so much income, the players might want to take out large mortgages and could be in trouble. They would believe that they would be the exception and not the rule for this because they are constantly succeeding as well. The players should set up a budget to fix this. They should defer the maximum amount of compensation possible and invest most of the rest. The athletes should have enough still to have a comfortable few years in the NFL. The football players should also be smart and get a college degree while they can for free.