The average NFL player might earn $1.1M a year, but according to an article in GQ this month, nine out of ten professional football athletes face insolvency within ten years of retirement. Given a short career span and a small window of opportunity in which to invest their earnings responsibly—combined with notoriously indulgent spending habits and a “fearlessness with risk”—many NFL players make unsound financial decisions once they have transitioned out of the spotlight.
George Washington University is trying to tap into the demand for business training among athletes by offering an executive MBA program specifically designed to give these individuals a formal education in entrepreneurship and business. The STAR EMBA—STAR stands for Special Talent, Access and Responsibilities—takes a proactive approach to seizing upon the players’ star power and sponsorship network before they fade away. GQ reports that although some are skeptical, with one Wharton professor describing the STAR program as “MBA light,” others are optimistic that such programs may “usher in a new breed of athlete entrepreneurs less prone to financial fumbles.” Read the GQ article and judge for yourself.