After hearing all the great stories of the Redskins Alumni returning to Ashburn last week, it was equally moving to hear Joe Gibbs was back at Redskins Park. It's for a reason you'd never guess though. Not for coaching, or consulting,
or calling back-to-back timeouts, but to launch a new education program that is LONG OVERDUE in the NFL - educating NFL athletes the basics on investing, terminology, and common pitfalls. He explained his new venture on 106.7 THE FAN's Mike Wise show yesterday:
Joe Gibbs: We got in a relationship with Strayer because we were working with our other sponsors. Strayer University is an online school. Nine states in the Southeast...I'm looking at this and I'm thinking, ‘This would fit perfectly with the NFL.' For this reason, I've been sitting in my office many times when players come to me at different times talking about contracts and eventually it would come out that they've made bad financial decisions. Of course, I'm a perfect example as I mention in my book not knowing my liabilities issues I got into a simple partnership.
I saw it a lot. It's not good for the teams because the player is upset and concentrating on something else - not football. I said, ‘Gosh, wouldn't this be great if we could create a business seminar for young guys.' We worked with Strayer that it'd be a pilot study and we'd do it for nothing. So, for the players, we said we're not asking you anything. The Redskins are not any part of this other than letting us use a room. Mike [Shanahan] and Dan [Snyder] were great. They thought it was a great idea. So, it was a gift back to them. We probably had 18-20 guys and some of their wives. I thought it was something I could do to give back to the Redskins organization. We'll probably take it to the League in some way. It was over nine days. It fit right into their schedule. Three 3-hour sessions. The professors were great. They took questions. There was a lot of interest in it.
Mike Wise chimed in with the staggering stat from his producer, Chris Johnson, that 78% of NFL players are bankrupt 3 years out of the league.
Gibbs: It happens because I was a Physical Education major. I didn't take business. I got into a simple partnership, and I didn't realize that I didn't have to be there when the partnership signed papers. When the partnership signed papers, I was liable. If I had just formed a LLC and protected myself some way, then I wouldn't have gone through all that. It happens to young guys in the league. I'm a perfect example.
Mike Wise: "And it's not just young guys. London Fletcher who probably hasn't made a bad decision in his life was in there. Phillip Daniels was there was his wife. Kedric Golston with his wife. Have you seen situations where players came in with money problems that affected their play on the field?"
Gibbs: I definitely saw that. I had times where players came in and told me they were upset with their contract and wanted to renogtiate. Of course, I'm not the person they do that with, but they were voicing being upset. As more questions came, I asked if they were in financial problems, and they'd say, "Yea, I made a bad investment." Of course that carries over in their relationship with their contracts. Picture yourself, would it affect your job?
[Regarding the 3-day seminar] It wasn't anything about investments. Where to invest. This was a gift of knowledge in the financial world.
How ironic is it that this story comes out right as Haynesworth is being sued by four (known) people including two bad investments? Either way, it really is moving to see the Redskins alumni be there for the current players. Hall of Famers talking to youngsters, and now Hall of Fame coaches giving tips on how to avoid the pitfalls of bad investments.
Another great day for this Redskins franchise and honestly, one that makes me proud to be a Redskins fan.
Also, am I the only one who didn't know there is a Joe Gibbs who plays OL for the Rams?