Daley James. Playing for Keeps. 2001. N.P. Web. June 22, 2015. PDF.
James (2001) in the article “Playing for Keeps” argues that some athletes end up bankruptcy a few years after exiting active college contracts. In particular, he asserts that up to 60% of the NBA athletes become bankrupt within five years of their retirements. The same trend occurs with the NFL whereby 78% of the players experience financial challenges about two years after retiring. Such happens due to lack of prior planning especially on investments that go beyond the college life. The author gives an example of Mashburn, who has successfully entered the franchise business. Further, James asserts that the franchise is an opportunity that is quite easy for the athletes to start. Since the majority of the athletes do not have the expertise to run a business, franchising is quite an easy way since some are in operation. There are also managers and other experts that the athletes can look up to help in running their business.
James opined that players are vulnerable as investors, con men, and family members attempt to get what their wages or allowances. A majority of the athletes get overwhelmed and end up making the wrong decision whose financial consequences lead to economic crisis. As a result, Michael Stone formed PAFI (Professional Athletes Franchise Initiative) that aims at enabling players make the right decisions. It also helps in creating a proper and secure link that enlightens the athletes business wise. Although this is an opportunity, it is not an easy venture as many may want to believe. It is a process that takes time for one to learn and sigh contracts based on the sound decisions. The transitions process from the field does not place one to top managements since that is an entirely new venture to the players.
James uses statistics to substantiate his claims albeit scanty. There is an attempt to authenticate the information by appealing to the sports organization such as the Sports Illustrated and the NBA association of players. However, the mere use of percentages without giving more details reduce the believability of the data. Technically, the author needs to explain in details how these results came to be by describing or giving the exact number, date, and the percentage representation. The data is too general. The author claims that 60% of the players get declared bankrupt within five years after retiring. Such claim does not point out to any specific data in the article, especially in years. However, they show consistency in the trend from different sources. Anderson (2015) reported that only 16% of the NFL player become bankrupt after twelve years of retirement according to a research of sampled athletes between 1999 and 2003. Similarly, Steinberg (2015) infers the same observation from the Sports Illustrate indicating that currently the NFL players who get broke after retiring stand at about 80%.
That notwithstanding, James uses a few examples to explain how successful franchising is to the athletes. That is an excellent approach since it convinces the readers and increases believability. Nevertheless, the success of the few people may make the article biased. From a technical point of view, counter-arguments helps the author to consider other opinions and, therefore, reduce biases.
James gives an excellent opinion on how to avoid financial challenges among the players. He describes the business opportunities, how they work, and possible pitfalls that one can avoid. The emphasis on early preparation serves as an eye opener to the athletes. The article is insightful and addresses critical aspect affecting the players.
Anderson Tom. 16 percent of retired NFL players go bankrupt: Study. CNBC. CNBC 14 April 2015. <http://www.cnbc.com/id/102585929>
Daley James. Playing for keeps. 2001. N.P. Web. June 22, 2015. PDF.
Steinberg Leigh. 5 Reasons Why 80% Of Retired NFL Players Go Broke. Forbes. Forbes Web. 9 Feb. 2015. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/leighsteinberg/2015/02/09/5-reasons-why-80- of-retired-nfl-players-go-broke/>