Travis Henry, the former pro-football running back, must pay around $170,000 a year in child support for nine children, each with different mothers, the New York Times recently reported. That's a lot, even for a star football player. (And it's hardly his only financial problem; Henry has also been charged with cocaine trafficking.)
Henry's story brings up just how hard it can be to juggle fame, fortune, and financial pressure. He told the Times that he thought the women tricked him into fathering their children, and that it wouldn't have happened were he not wealthy and famous. Financial experts say such trouble is common for stars who suddenly find themselves wealthy. High-earning celebrities often run into trouble because their income is unpredictable, they maintain expensive lifestyles, and they face enormous pressure from family, friends, and charities who want their money. Saying no to such requests is often one of the hardest lessons they must learn, along with avoiding debt and planning for short bursts of income early in life can last well past retirement.
The NFL tries to teach its players financial responsibility through seminars and other courses, but Henry's story raises the question: Is the NFL doing enough? What else could they do? Here's one idea: Instead of paying players large, upfront salaries, what if they turned the income into an annual salary spread over 50 years? For more, read: