As deals go, it’s neither new nor complex.
A sports agent lands a client and then recommends a financial adviser. Or vice versa. The relationship between the agent/adviser extends through the years, through the rosters. Maybe they recruit together. Maybe they just vouch for “their guy.” Maybe there are kickbacks. Maybe there is the expectation of future swaps. However it goes down in the end a player, often poorly prepared by a college sports system focused on eligibility and not education, often from a family background short on savings accounts let alone mortgages and stock portfolios, thinks he has two sets of independent, trustworthy eyes on his money. Instead he has one.
Even if nobody aims to rip him off, to risk his money, the fiduciary responsibility is corrupted, the honesty lost, the motives open to question. Whether this is what was pulled on by his former agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and the financial adviser he recommended T.O. sign with, Jeff Rubin, is a matter for investigators and civil courts. Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday that the NFLPA is looking into the Rosenhaus-Rubin relationship after widespread player losses. Rosenhaus denied wrongdoing. Rubin declined comment. Owens just knows he’s 38, perhaps headed toward bankruptcy and one of the reasons his approximately $80 million in NFL earnings has all but vanished is because bad deals and poor oversight from an agent-financial adviser team.
Or put it this way: how could Owens, late in his career, wind up throwing a couple of his last million dollars at a risky, rural Alabama bingo parlor project? Then again, how could 34 other athletes, 18 of them Rosenhaus’ clients, get roped in for what bankruptcy filings indicate could be a combined $43.6 million? (more…)