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Thread: Ex-Pro Bowl QB Brunell to file for bankruptcy

  1. #1
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    Ex-Pro Bowl QB Brunell to file for bankruptcy

    [B][SIZE=3]Ex-Pro Bowl QB Brunell to file for bankruptcy[/SIZE][/B]

    June 25, 2010 9:20 AM | [URL="http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/06/ex-pro-bowl-qb-brunell-to-file-for-bankruptcy.html#comments"]No Comments[/URL]

    [I]Tribune News Services[/I]

    Three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Mark Brunell, who was paid nearly $52 million during his past 10 years in the NFL, plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday.

    Brunell, who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995 to 2003 and won a Super Bowl last season as a backup quarterback with the New Orleans Saints, faces multiple lawsuits over failed real estate and business loans from a partnership called Champion LLC that included former Jaguars Joel Smeenge and Todd Fordham.

    One of the disputes involves a real estate project in Jacksonville Beach, involving a $2.2 million loan made by CNL Bank in 2005. CNL began foreclosure proceedings on the property in May 2009, accusing the partners of defaulting on the loan.

    Brunell also invested in several other businesses including real estate projects in Traverse City and Grand Rapids, Mich. Those real estate investments failed, and Michigan-based Select Bank won a $1.1 million judgment against Brunell and his partners.

    "The timing of the group's real estate acquisitions at the height of the real estate market, in hindsight, clearly was not good," Brunell said in a statement e-mailed to the Florida Times-Union.

    Brunell said he had personally shouldered the payments on the loans for several years, as the group worked to reach a resolution with financiers.

    "In the end, we couldn't and I am no longer able to shoulder this burden," said Brunell, who declined to comment further when reached by the Times-Union on Thursday night.

    Smeenge, one of the partners in Champion, previously filed for bankruptcy.

    Brunell, who came to Jacksonville in 1995 in a trade with the Green Bay Packers and was dealt before the 2004 season to the Washington Redskins, still holds nearly every Jaguars passing record, including yards, completions, attempts and touchdowns. He led the Jaguars to the AFC championship game in 1996 (the team's second season in the NFL) and 1999.

    He was also among the highest-paid Jaguars players. Brunell received signing bonuses of a combined $14.3 million in 2000 and 2001, and he was paid an $8.6 million signing bonus when traded to the Washington Redskins in 2004.

    Brunell spent the past two seasons with the Saints and was the holder on the 40-yard field goal kicked by Garrett Hartley in overtime against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game that sent New Orleans to its first Super Bowl. The Saints then beat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV, 31-17. Brunell became a free agent after the season and has not signed with another team.

    Brunell has been active in the Jacksonville community, establishing the Brunell Family Foundation in 1997 to raise funds for critically ill children and their families. Since its inception, the organization has raised nearly $800,000 to benefit charitable causes. He was named the Byron "Whizzer" White Award recipient in 2002 by the NFL Players Association for his commitment to community causes. He also has invested in a local Whataburger franchise.

    Brunell, who is married with four children, said he remains committed to Jacksonville, and his work to help critically ill children.

    "It has reaffirmed what is most important to me -- my faith, my family and my friendships," Brunell said in his statement.

  2. #2
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    unreal...didn't realize he made that much money over his career. Makes it even more bizarre.

  3. #3
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    why does it seem like these athletes always make bad business decisions?

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    I have worked for 2 CPA firms that handle some of these players (one in NY, one here in NC). It is amazing how they mistake their athletic skill for REAL business brains AND how their advisors/CPA's are afraid to talk them out of some of these deals.

    I did one (unnamed) here in Charlotte that had 3 or 4 ventures during his playing days and after.

    HE is also BROKE today.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=BigBensAngel7;3633659]why does it seem like these athletes always make bad business decisions?[/QUOTE]

    first reason is because they have tough decisions to make. They get more offers than the average person. People (sometimes family and friends) are always asking these guys for investment and these guys are athletes not Warren Buffet.

    in a broader sense the choice to become a professional athlete is, in and of itself, usually a bad business decision. with incredible violence and non-guarunteed contracts, NFL is even a riskier choice than NBA or MLB.

    the odds of making it are astronomical. The safe play is to use it to get to college then study for a "real" job where the risk of getting carried off on a john deere cart and retired before you are 30 is alot lower.

    altho it should be said the art of money management is growing... every year @ senior bowl and combine there are guys from Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley looking to manage these guys money. If you took a first round bonus and gave it to merrill lynch to invest it would probably work out better than the Mark Brunnell story above.

    For every Brick and Myron Rolle there are thousands of cautionary tales...

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;3633697]I have worked for 2 CPA firms that handle some of these players (one in NY, one here in NC). It is amazing how they mistake their athletic skill for REAL business brains AND how their advisors/CPA's are afraid to talk them out of some of these deals.

    I did one (unnamed) here in Charlotte that had 3 or 4 ventures during his playing days and after.

    HE is also BROKE today.[/QUOTE]

    I would venture to say that in most of these cases, the athlete doesn't really know what he is investing in. Some "adviser" is entrusted with a ton of money and making the decisions...

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=LV2;3633709]I would venture to say that in most of these cases, the athlete doesn't really know what he is investing in. Some "adviser" is entrusted with a ton of money and making the decisions...[/QUOTE]

    In this, and probably many other instances, Brunnell was much like a lot of non-athletes....invested his money in the real estate market as it looked like the bubble would never burst. Clearly he was wrong.

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    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;3633697]I have worked for 2 CPA firms that handle some of these players (one in NY, one here in NC). It is amazing how they mistake their athletic skill for REAL business brains AND how their advisors/CPA's are afraid to talk them out of some of these deals.

    I did one (unnamed) here in Charlotte that had 3 or 4 ventures during his playing days and after.

    HE is also BROKE today.[/QUOTE]


    I too over the years have had some very famous entertainers and musicians and unfortunately they are not very good at managing money, they think that each gig is everlasting and the money tree is there for ever.

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    [QUOTE=LV2;3633709]I would venture to say that in most of these cases, the athlete doesn't really know what he is investing in. Some "adviser" is entrusted with a ton of money and making the decisions...[/QUOTE]


    And their advisors are promising annual returns of 25+% in all liklihood.
    In real estate which is boom or bust. And the advisors are not Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney or another high profile financial operation but some local schmo who has a fast deal.
    It was my understanding that the NFL has had financial counselling for rookies coming in. Apparently not good enough. Some guys it's 10 cars, 3 houses, strip clubs and numerous girlfriends. Other guys it's a fast deal on something they do not understand.
    Hey Sanchez, how about 10 mill for a derivative deal? I hope his business manager is on top of him.
    Relative to Brunell: this could affect how the Jets look at him. Bankrupt, being sued. A big personal distraction. Wife, 4 kids. Ouch.

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    If you make 50 million in a career why do you need to make it into 75-100 million? Guys that get this kind of dough should be going for the absolute least risky investments possible.

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    [QUOTE=BigBensAngel7;3633659]why does it seem like these athletes always make bad business decisions?[/QUOTE]

    Why when you've made over $52 million in your career do you need to invest in anything?

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    [QUOTE=Beerfish;3633767]If you make 50 million in a career why do you need to make it into 75-100 million? Guys that get this kind of dough should be going for the absolute least risky investments possible.[/QUOTE]

    But that takes common sense, something often lacking with these guys. Giving $50M to a guy with little or no financial acumen (many of whom never even graduated from college) and asking them to make the right decisions is like putting a guy who can barely swim out on a surfboard at the north shore of Hawaii in 12 ft. swells.

    I will likely make a fraction of what these athletes make in a year during my entire career. But I'm smart enough to sock 20% away each month in savings, 401(k)'s and a mix of investments (some risky and many risk free).

    These athletes are poorly served by their advisors and instead of being [B]proactive[/B] in developing a savings and investment plan, they are [B]reactive[/B] to offers, deals and the latest get-richer-quick schemes that people approach them with! When Diddy shows up asking for $3M to start a restaurant venture with him, run....don't just walk away!

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    [QUOTE=124;3633774]Why when you've made over $52 million in your career do you need to invest in anything?[/QUOTE]

    Bingo! Their biggest goals have to be capital preservation (e.g. just don't lose money) and protecting against inflation. That's basically it. If they can stay a few points ahead of inflation with something like TIPS or a mix of investments including some hard commodities, they should never have to worry about a penny.

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    Well, he really [I]only[/I] blew about $30 million, after taxes.

    He looks like a fool right now, but no one with that much money just sits on it. Money not invested is money wasted, that's the mentality. Brunell just made a series of poor investments.

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    [QUOTE=JB1089;3633797]Well, he really [I]only[/I] blew about $30 million, after taxes.

    He looks like a fool right now, but no one with that much money just sits on it. Money not invested is money wasted, that's the mentality. Brunell just made a series of poor investments.[/QUOTE]

    you don't need to "sit on it". What you do need to do is diversify and ensure that if a couple of your investments do go pear-shaped, you aren't totally screwed.

    Its fine for anyone with means to take a flier on their buddies can't miss restaurant/start up/car wash/real estate, etc. Just don't make it a significant % of your net worth.

    It seems like Brunnell's Chap 11 filing is calculated specifically in response to several lawsuits filed against him - not because he can't put food on the table. I'm sure he's still doing ok.

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    [QUOTE=124;3633774]Why when you've made over $52 million in your career do you need to invest in anything?[/QUOTE]
    that is a good point. i have a great uncle that dont believe in banks and keeps his money in a safe at his home.

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=southparkcpa;3633697]It is amazing how they mistake their athletic skill for REAL business brains AND [B]how their advisors/CPA's are afraid to talk them out of some of these deals.[/B]

    I did one (unnamed) here in Charlotte that had 3 or 4 ventures during his playing days and after.

    HE is also BROKE today.[/QUOTE]

    So why didn't you talk him out of this brainiac? :confused:

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=FF2;3633885]So why didn't you talk him out of this brainiac? :confused:[/QUOTE]

    Chain of command baby.... he was NOT my client, I was a staff accountant at the time.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=BigBensAngel7;3633860]that is a good point. i have a great uncle that dont believe in banks and keeps his money in a safe at his home.[/QUOTE]

    Uh - I'm pretty sure thats not what he meant. That's fine if your Scrooge McDuck, but not sure if that's the best place for ALL his money.

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=124;3633774]Why when you've made over $52 million in your career do you need to invest in anything?[/QUOTE]

    EGO! These guys, in general, have BIG EGO'S.

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