Rachel Terrill, wife of former NFL player Craig Terrill, provided a fascinating look into the finances of professional athletes.
In an SI.com piece, she details how even wealthy players often end up scraping for cash, just like everyone else. She begins by noting there is a wide disparity among player salaries. Her husband Craig was earning $230,000 as a rookie, but they had gone to a team dinner at an expensive restaurant. Seeing the prices, they the couple shared a baked potato and broccoli, then visited a drive-through on the way home.
But before leaving the restaurant, a highly paid player suggested everyone split the bill by tossing in $400 per couple. The Terrills did so, but not happily, since all they ate was the potato and broccoli.
It’s hard to have a budget when you have an image to keep. I recall once seeing two Jazz rookies coming back to the team hotel with a grocery sack. They had been stopped by a teammate and asked what was in the bag. When they showed him, the player laughed and teased them. Inside the bag was a package of baloney, a loaf of bread and a jar of mustard.
The two rookies weren’t sure how long they’d be making even the minimum salary in the NBA.
I’ve mentioned in previous blogs and columns how former Ute Luther Elliss squandered $11 million, playing in the NFL. He ended up living in the homes of friends from his church. He told me poor investments, several houses and loans to family and friends ate away his profits.
The point to this blog: Even people making big money can have money problems. Be grateful if you have enough for your needs.