I like this story, guy is speaking out. bankruptcy is a huge problem in America
and in particularly in the state of Utah. i hope things work out for Luther and
his family and i hope people will listen to his story and learn from his
It's called planning and taking personal responsibility.I feel sorry
for Luther and athletes like him; but, I feel more sorry for people who have
worked hard their whole life, but have never had a chance to experience the
finer things of life.Everybody knows that professional sports
careers are fleeting. Those who are smart with their money and use a little
self-control in planning and spending, can be set for life. For someone to be
given that opportunity and squander it, is sad.I do think colleges,
as a required course for all student athletes, should offer a financial planning
course to teach athletes the basics of how to set up a budget and how to protect
themselves from unscrupulous agents and financial advisers.
This is where I am at odds with the state schools. As a former school teacher
the emphasis was on higher mathematics such as algebra, statistics, quadratic
equations, etc... These math courses serve only a small part of the student
populace. Instead consumer math is pushed to the background and not given
priority status. I do believe that the high schools should switch the emphasis
from higher mathematics to the courses that will best serve the interest of the
masses. Consumer math is far and away too underrated and yet it is a
daily part of life. Changes in the education system should be made soon and with
a more practical approach to what is best for the consumer and especially to the
needs of society.
With all their millions in TV revenues and other sources of funding (fans, for
example) wouldn't you think that professional sports leagues and franchises
would offer a few hours of basic economics to athletes with such newly-acquired
expensive tastes and extravagant lifestyles? I remember when Kareem had to play
an extra two years in the NBA because he was broke and needed to have some money
on which to live. Certainly there are plenty of examples that could help
younger players realize the pitfalls of instant wealth. I know Kareem tried to
spread that message to rookies when he was about through his career. How does
ignoring this situation help anyone?
The victims in this story are those people or companies he promised to repay his
debts to and didn't. Good to know the kids aren't homeless however.
Good lesson to learn, hard way to learn it. I'm glad he's speaking out, but
there needs to be more education on handling finances for these athletes. This
is also one reason why more education is needed for prospective professional
athletes.Hailstorm,In Utah a class called Financial
Literacy is required for graduation. It teaches the basics of managing money,
living within a budget, planning for retirement, and staying out of debt. The
problem I see is those principles don't get reinforced at home and the kids blow
them off once they pass the class. Especially if they think they'll be making a
lot of money.
Keep working hard. You'll land on your feet again.
@Ted HWhatever, who are you to judge?I happened to have
the opportunity to meet Mr. Ellis while I was in college. He's one of the
nicest guys I ever met at the U.I'm pleased he's back with the Utes
and contributing to the team. He's one of the key players who put Utah football
back on the map. I wish he and his family the best and hope he stays
on the Hill for years to come.
Thanks Rock, for bringing this story to the public. We need to see the whole
picture of sport. I appreciate that you seem to write on things that most others
do not. Keep up the good work. And thanks to previous posters; I agree with
almost all your comments. I think I checked "recommend" on all but two
of previous posts. It is nice to read comments that complement the article,
rather than bash Utes or Cougars.
When you make that much money why do you need to invest. What is there to gain
by risking vast wealth. Just put excess income in a CD or a stable dividend
stock like AT&T or EXXON if you insist on investing. Also, when you have
such wealth why are you mortgaging anything why would you accrue interest on
investment real-estate if you didn't have to. If these athletes would just pay
cash (which they can do)for their luxury homes at least they could sell those
when they go bankrupt or keep a (NICE)roof over their heads. If
it's so hard to maintain wealth I'd sure like to try it out, earning it is the
hard part. It's also not the NCAA's responsibility to teach anyone basic
finances. Take a class in personal finance, be responsible for yourself. I
really don't feel badly for Mr. Ellis he did this to himself, and his family
through his own arrogance. He knew what was best not his wife or his financial
advisor. And now he comes back to Utah with a sob story, desperate for a job and
Another Ute playing four years and finishing with no degree. This is a common
problem in football and basketball. Players squander the money they get and
while complaining about money and conditions have little concept of what it is
like to really have to earn a living. When the career is finished, the majority
wind up on welfare and food stamps. The schools provide an opportunity to earn
a meaningful degree, but first the student has to want to learn, want to go to
class, want to study, etc.
I commend Luther for fighting hard and making the recovery path part of his
life. I hope that he uses his experience to help others avoid the pit falls he
suffered. So many young people that are fortunate enough to reap the benefits of
a lucrative sports career have not had the education to deal with it. There are
so many who try to take advantage of these young people, many times friends and
family. How would any of us deal with a multi-million dollar
windfall. We all spend the lottery. Think about what you would do personally
with the lottery winnings and see how different you are compared to Luther.Glad to see him back in Utah where he can help. Real life experiences
are the best teacher and who better to teach than Luther.Good luck
and keep us posted. Thanks D News for the article, hard as it is to
read some of these sad happenings, we can learn as well.Go Aggies
There is no doubt that Luther and his wife are very good people. (ie. his values
and giving aid to those less fortunate) His willingness to share what he had
with others is outstanding. Sadly he lost all that he once had earned, even more
sadly is that now his family is struggling with him. It is hard to imagine
spending over eleven million dollars. The missing concept her is that we
all are held accountable for the decisions we make in life. We all make poor
decisions form time to time, Luther's character is now showing in that he is
taking responsibility for his decisions. He is making the most of his situation,
and still wants to help other learn by his example.
Look at all of the negative posters. i bet if we were do do a study on your
financial history we could find a few bad investments and i am certain that most
of you all have debt too. grow a heart guys, most great athletes grew up
in poverty and got the education they do have by playing sports. i see the way
athletes spend money the same way i see starving people act when all of the
sudden food is freely available, many of them eat until their stomachs explode,
poor kids who get alot of money by being great athletes will usually spend until
their wallets are empty. try a little empathy before you start your "im
better because im not poor" speech.
@Wayne RoutWorst comment I have seen on a message board in a long
time. Just another holier than thou coug thinking he is better than everyone.
Scotty Pippen amassed an estimated $150 million in wealth and was bankrupt
within 5 years of his retirement. I believe that he's gotten back on track a
bit, but this is a huge problem for professional athletes and for most Americans
for that matter. A budget is a powerful tool to build wealth and protect
yourself from greed and overindulgence.
Very sad to hear such a great person have so many tough trials.
"friends" and relatives alike took advantage of him and came a'beggin
for money and he was too nice to say no. I wonder how many of the people he gave
money to have given anything back. It is good to be generous but you should
secure your personal finances first and then look at how you can help others. It
looks like greed played a big part of his struggles. Get rich quick or get an
amazing return for your investment plans usually backfire. It just happened to
Luther on a much larger scale that the average Joe. Hopefully he can get back on
his feet and take care of his family. Kudos to his church for sticking by him.
I hope he is back on his feet quickly. At my company, we require
new college hires to take a personal finance class. With pro athletes, they
should be required to meet with a financial planner at least monthly, so they
don't destroy themselves.
If you only ever spend half of the money you earn, put the other half away in a
low risk, interest bearing account, then you shouldn't ever have to worry. I
know saving half of what we earn is hard for most of us but for professional
athletes that make millions, it should be easy. Luther should have $5.5 Million
sitting somewhere making interest. He could be living off the interest alone,
and pretty well at that. 6% would be $330,000 per year!
Some pretty judgmental nasty comments on this board. I hope many of you never
find yourself in this situation. It appears Luther was also very generous with
his money. Many investors have lost all their wealth in this great recession
our economy is in right now. I hope those who posted the negative comments can
find their Christianity.
He did make a good point with our country spending way beyond its means.Perhaps what we need to do, is to give the president a budget of what he
can spend. Do not allow politicians to borrow money. We'll give him a budget
that is less than what is collected. The money left over will go towards paying
off the debt.Since our "smartest people in the world
politicians" can't manage the nation. It's time we as US citizens get off
our butts and hold their hands through this. Politicians are nothing more than
little kids that need adult supervision.
I love how people are very judgmental of how others spend their money. First of all for a more complete account on Ellis' situation I would
suggest going to the original reports in Jan 2010. I felt bad for Luther at
that time, and still do. In those articles it tells us that the
Lions had mandatory financial classes/counseling that Luther participated in.
He readily admits he went against advice from a lot of people in his
investments. Some of his investments were in real estate, and if you have
followed the Detroit market at all, you might understand how someone could lose
their shirt in that market.I hope he's able to pull out of it
Sometimes the truth hurtsCommon sense... simple math. I guess I'd feel
sorry for these poor athletes but they (pro-football players) are now crying for
more from the owners, no bleeding hearts out there for owners taking all the
risk and the players want more hand outs, if they dont like what they are being
paid, get another job like the rest us have to do. These athletes are no
different than the Hollywood movie stars, all brats thinking they are better,
more important and demanding more the average working stiff. Get a life and if
you feel sorry for them, then contribute to them, contribute to food stamps,
welfare, give them some cash, join the Democratic Party and demand a hand out
yourself. I'm sorry sick of the "poor me" I got screwed people in the
world, be responsible.
DC FanYou must really still be hurting over Glenn Beck's firing...
Sorry to hear about the financial losses but encouraged that he is trying to
finish his degree and helping the Utes. Rich athletes are not always the best
investors and can loss everything. The organizations they work for should have
taught them how to invest their millions. Adults don't always listen.
The Cougar fans on the board still seem a little upset at the way Luther
man-handled the team in Provo back in the '90s. Get over it. Luther's '94 Utes
team marked the resurgence of Ute football.
I don't know if it's just the lighting in the picture, but those uniforms look
pink compared to the red they have on the jerseys today.
Re: BoringGuyElliss played from 1992-94. Let's see, in 1992 BYU beat
Utah 31-22. Then in 1993 and 1994 Utah had those back-to-back 34-31 wins. Am I
missing something? Where exactly did BYU get "man-handled"?
Luther,We are all in this together bro.Bigger and
smarter guys than you lost it all and we are not judging you for getting caught
in the middle of this financial market with the rest of us.We can
all learn from our mistakes. I love that you are facing it head on and
continuing to walk tall. I think you are a great example of giving love and
helping others.You are welcome in my house anytime! Bring your
whole family with you!!!Plenty of "good" people made a
killing in the mortgage market when times were good. Their "junk"
fees they charged on the hidden back end of loans are one reason the industry is
being tightly regulated now. So, they can pat themselves on the back and feel
superior to you, but they were and maybe still are part of the problem.We can all do better by keeping our needs and wants in check. It for sure
isn't time to judge Luther harshly. I'm not sure when it will be our turn to
judge him or anyone else.Probably never.Keep being a
great dad Luther!! I love it.
BoringGuyYou're calling a couple 34-31 losses being
"man-handled"? A little selective memory there.1994 may have marked the resurgence of Ute football, but it was just another
one of many great years for BYU football.The Cougars finished 10-3
in 1994, with losses at #16/#14 Colorado State, at Arizona State, and a very
close loss at #10/#8, with wins at Air Force and at Notre Dame and in their bowl
game over Oklahoma. BYU finished #18/#10 in the final polls.btw,
even though Utah(10-2) finished in the Top 10, the Utes only finished tied for
2nd in the WAC, with BYU. The Utes lost conference game at New Mexico(5-7) and
Air Force(8-4). BYU fans upset at Luther? Sorry, only a few BYU fans
vaguely even remember Luther.
I read that SI article. These athletes are relentlessly hounded for money by
friends & family, never mind strangers. They have little spare time to
learn financial management, esp not in college where they're practically forced
to take stay-eligible classes. If their agents aren't honest and their
moms/wives not smart & tough, they're doomed to bankruptcy.One
of their biggest mistakes is investing in "tangible" things like
restaurants (often at friends & relatives request) instead of unsexy bonds
& dividend earning stock funds. Kevin Durant recently said he gets asked
for "20K here, 25K there" all the time. Can happen to anyone.Good luck, Luther.
I hate to mention this to all of the fans of the team in Provo. If you went
back and watched the video of Luther's play back in the Holy Wars, you'd know
what I'm talking about when I say man handle. He made your players look like
little kittens of the field.BTW, I'm sure it felt great to go 10-3
back in 1994. That record was so good it would get you a BCS bid today -- ha ha
-- good luck with that.
@boring guyDon't be such a fool. While ellis's story is sad and
pathetic he is still responsible for what happened. I don't think any of us can
claim we would do any better if we were in that same situation although I am
sure we all think we would. But the fact is blowing 11 million dollars is
foolish and deserves criticism regardless of who does it. I for one
respect that he wants to be an example of what not to do, although to be honest
with you he is that example anyway, but the fact he is willing to be public
about it in an attempt to maybe warn others is admirable. It also sounds like he
is a good person, but being a good person doesn't exempt you from being a fool.
Nice dig at the "proselytizing" K2.This publication never
fails to crack me up.