The MBA Program for the NFL

Michael Lythcott, a successful entrepreneur who runs STAR’s new business incubator, says the league and the play-it-safe financial advisers have neither cut down on the risky behavior nor addressed the real problem. He likens their approach to teaching abstinence in high school sex ed. Lythcott, whose mother founded Harlem’s National Black Theatre, sees the plight of athlete investors as that of African-American entrepreneurs writ large — mostly that they operate outside the existing support networks and that they don’t benefit from suitable financing, appropriately matched partners, and training that are all there for others. So this MBA program emboldens the forty-five students already enrolled in the first two classes to take their collective net worth of $300 million, their $2 to $3 billion networks of corporate sponsors and wealthy boosters, and to suit up for business now, before their stars begin to wane. It’s a strategy no one has tried before, Doug Guthrie, the dean of George Washington’s business school, tells me.

Can an MBA program geared towards NFL athletes — a staggeringly high amount who become insolvent within 10 years of retirement (more than 50 percent according to one report) — help them hold onto their money? Ben Austen investigates in GQ.

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