Comments about ‘Brad Rock: Ex-Ute Luther Elliss learned lesson while losing wealth’

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Published: Tuesday, April 19 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT

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sports fan
Provo, UT

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 mistakes.

Go Utes!!!

Orem, UT

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.

South Weber, UT

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.

Farmington, UT

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?

Ted H.
Midvale, UT

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.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

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.


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.

South Jordan, UT

Keep working hard. You'll land on your feet again.

Holladay, UT

@Ted H

Whatever, 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.

Spanish Fork, UT

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.

Tulsa, OK

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 some sympathy.

Wayne Rout
El Paso, TX

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.

Saint George, UT

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

  • 8:23 a.m. April 20, 2011
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Silent Lurker
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

sports fan
Provo, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Wayne Rout

Worst comment I have seen on a message board in a long time. Just another holier than thou coug thinking he is better than everyone. Stay classy

Hillsboro, OR

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.

Eagle Mountain, UT

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.

Phoenix, AZ

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.

Naked Truth
Salt Lake City, Utah

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!

Murray, UT

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.

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