Tag:Luther Ellis
Posted on: June 29, 2011 11:50 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 9:36 am

Plax's NFLPA symposium talk impactful on rookies

Posted by Will Brinson

We mentioned earlier in the week that Plaxico Burress was going to speak at the NFLPA rookie symposium. Burress was there -- along with many other impressive guests like Roger Goodell -- to give life advice to the NFL's youngsters.

He did just that, and according to Broncos' rookie Von Miller, speaking to Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter, and the advice proved profound.

"I've been a big fan of Plaxico Burress' since I was a kid," Miller said. "It's a nightmare story, but I think all of us rookies can learn from that."

Burress' nightmare story is impactful: The wideout lost more than $12 million and two years of his life after being sentenced to prison for shooting himself in the leg in a nightclub.

Also present was former Lions DT Luther Ellis, who eventually filed for bankruptcy despite making $12 million over his career.

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And, of course, a slew of rookies -- 150 rooks made the trip, including eight of 10 first-rounders. (Only absent were Jake Locker, who's getting married, and Julio Jones, who didn't have an excuse, though he didn't need one.)

"Going into this event I thought I knew a lot, and then you go through these couple of days and you realize there's a lot you have to learn," said Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. "If I hadn't have had this event, I think I would have missed out on a great deal."

Fortunately, though the usually-sponsored-by-the-NFL event took place under the (optimistically!) dark cloud of the labor talks, it appears to have had an effect on the NFL's youngest group of players.

And that's always good news, regardless of whether the games are technically scheduled to begin on time right now.

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Posted on: June 28, 2011 8:49 am
Edited on: June 28, 2011 9:57 am

Rookie symposium to help players with money

L. Ellis had to file for bankruptcy last year despite making $20 million during his career (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The NFLPA, even in the face of a lockout that hopefully will be over next month, will conduct a rookie symposium today in Bradenton, Fla., and the key piece of the advice will be NOT TO BE STUPID WITH YOUR FREAKIN’ MONEY!!!!

According to Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com, the rookies will attend a 90-minute seminar in which they will learn to be prudent in the way they spend their salary the first couple of years in the league. In fact, they’ll be advised not to make any big financial decisions or spend any significant amount of money for, at least, their rookie season.

“These players have a tendency to get approached by a lot of people, family and friends,” Karl McDonnell, the COO of Strayer University, told Marvez. “We’ve actually drafted a letter they can use that says, ‘I’m going to take the next year getting used to being in the NFL. I’m not going to make any major commitments,’ just to give them a little breathing room.

“One of the things we want these young players to realize is the decisions they make in the next 1-2 years are really going to impact their lives forever. We want them to get off to a good start.”

After the NFL canceled its annual symposium because of the lockout, the NFLPA took the liberty of scheduling one on its own. It’s estimated that about half of the incoming rookies will attend.

Honestly, that’s probably very disappointing to the trade association -- and I think CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman would agree -- since, as Freeman reports, the NFLPA would pick up all rookies’ travel costs.

Especially when they could hear from a former player like Luther Ellis, a first-round pick for the Lions in 1995 who squandered $20 million during his 11-year career and had to file for bankruptcy in 2010. Ellis (pictured at right), who will speak at the symposium, points to his rookie season as the beginning of his downfall.

“The biggest thing that took us down the path of bankruptcy was being overextended to the point that I was counting on future earnings that didn’t happen and being involved in businesses that I shouldn’t have been involved with,” he said. “As good as the opportunities maybe seemed, if I would have put that money aside and just earned a modest interest rate of 6-7 percent, I’d be so much further ahead right now. And then I would have had the chance to sit back and look at what are the real opportunities, my personal passions, my wife’s personal passions and (decide) the things we want to be involved in. It would have changed our whole future.”

If I might add my two cents (though I realize I haven’t been invited to speak at the symposium and I only had to take one math class in college -- statistics, but I got a B!!!)), here is my advice: Don’t buy an expensive car.

When you walk through a NFL players' parking lot, you see a ton of fancy rides; and one of the guys who played for the Bengals who we knew could least afford a six-figure car, was the one who had multiple cars of that nature. His lifestyle was totally dependent on him staying on a NFL team, and he’ll be a real question mark to make a squad this year.

Don’t buy something that loses so much of its value when you drive off the lot. Just don’t buy an expensive new car right away.

“Really it comes down to discipline of not overextending yourself,” McDonnell said. “Anyone who comes into a large sum of money, there’s a temptation to do that.”

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com