Vince Young’s Bankruptcy Revisited

Vince Young’s bankruptcy proceedings are moving along and the latest precinct to report in is Ronnie Peoples, the former financial advisor to Vince Young. ESPN reported earlier this week that Peoples said in a deposition that he indeed arranged a “high interest seven-figure loan” for Young during the NFL lockout 2 years ago. The new information Peoples provided was his testimony that Young wanted the money to throw himself a birthday party that was going to cost $300K and that Young was low on cash at that particular time.

You might wonder why anyone would need to throw themselves a birthday party with a $300K price tag when they had only minimal income for the moment, but if you let your mind wander down that road, you will quickly come to the scenic overlook where you realize that the individual involved is neither well-educated nor sophisticated in terms of real world financial issues. Indeed, that very state of ignorance and naïveté would lead him to hire a financial advisor. In his testimony, People said that he received $65K per year to serve as said financial advisor and as the conduit through which Young’s bills were paid.

Then, you might wonder why someone who is the President and CEO of a “financial services company” would not tell his client that the proposed birthday party was beyond a “bad decision” and was getting very close to “terminally stupid”. According to Ronnie Peoples’ testimony, he did not have a real chance to do that because Young had already paid for the party before contacting Peoples.

Vince Young’s lawyer in this proceeding says that Peoples’ testimony contains “several inaccuracies” including his statements regarding this birthday party. So, that is an entire genre of expenditures that the judge will need to sort out as the rest of this story unfolds.

Back to Peoples’ testimony, he said that once he learned that Young had already laid out the bread for this party, he put in a call to Pro Player Funding to obtain a loan for Young that would carry him through the lockout. This loan precipitated the bankruptcy process because Young evidently defaulted on payments and Pro Player Funding sued to get their money back. The loan in question was for $1.9M at 20% interest.

Those two numbers are astounding.

    Even if Young had indeed prepaid for a $300K birthday party and had to come up with cash because he was short, why would a financial advisor have him to take out a loan 6 times greater than that outrageous expenditure? Young is paying the guy for “financial advice”; there is no incoming revenue stream at the moment; where was the mature adult telling Young that he has to stop spending money the way he had been spending it?

    Additionally, the interest rate was 20%. I am not a financial guru by any means, but ever since the financial meltdown of 2008, the prime rate has been somewhere close to 3%. I understand that Vince Young as an unemployed-at-the-time NFL quarterback would not qualify at the prime rate. Nevertheless, there is an awful lot of “interest rate territory” between 3% and 20%.

Young claimed in a previous deposition that he probably did sign the papers for this loan but had no idea what they were. Peoples – not surprisingly – disputes that assertion and he testified that he met with Young to explain what the loan was about and to tell Young that he needed this money to cover expenditures that Young had incurred. Clearly, this mess is not nearly resolved.

In the reports on People’s testimony, there were two other items that I found interesting:

    Supposedly, “more than a dozen NFL players” took out loans from Pro Player Funding during the lockout.

    Young is also suing Pro Player Funding in a separate action claiming that he never received any funds from them and that Peoples and his former agent, Major Adams, fraudulently obtained the loan. In his lawsuit, Young calls Pro Player funding a “predatory lender”. Given all of the other information swirling about in the bankruptcy process, my guess is that someone else came up with the term “predatory lender” because no one involved in the bankruptcy process seemed to think in those terms when 20% interest rates were discussed.

Vince Young remains unemployed as a free agent; his future in the NFL as he approaches his 30th birthday is tenuous. Such is not the case for Rob Ryan whom the Cowboys fired as their defensive coordinator in January. Ryan will go to the Saints in the same capacity. I find Rob Ryan to be an interesting contrast to his twin brother, Rex.

    Rex is bombastic; Rob is belligerently bombastic.

I think there is another distinction that needs to be made. When Rex was a defensive coordinator in Baltimore from 2005 through 2008, the Ravens’ defense was always the strength of the team. Even when the Ravens had a 5-11 season and fired the entire coaching staff, Rex Ryan was interviewed as a candidate to become head coach of the Ravens. That has not been the case for Rob Ryan’s career in the NFL.

Rob Ryan has been the defensive coordinator in Oakland, Cleveland and Dallas from 2004 through 2012. None of the teams with him as the defensive coordinator has ever made it to the playoffs. To be sure, there are some mitigating circumstances at work here such as the rash of injuries that the Cowboys’ defense suffered last season. Nonetheless, the Saints’ defense was the architect of their disappointing season in 2012 and they have turned to Bob Ryan to cure those ills. Statistically, there is nowhere to go but up for the Saints’ defense; in 2012, the Saints allowed more yards than any other team in the history of the NFL.

The Saints’ offense is potent so Rob Ryan need not turn the Saints’ defense into a reincarnation of The Steel Curtain in order to make the playoffs. However, it will be interesting to see just how much better he does make that defense.

Finally, here is a comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald that should be a cautionary note to the Miami Dolphins in this offseason:

“Speculation is the Dolphins will pursue speedy Steelers receiver Mike Wallace in free agency. With Miami’s luck, let’s just hope the team doesn’t inadvertently sign the deceased 60 Minutes reporter.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

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  • tenacious P  On February 15, 2013 at 10:45 am

    “None of the teams with [Rob Ryan] as the defensive coordinator has ever made it to the playoffs.”

    That is a damning indictment of time and data.

  • Siggurdsson  On February 15, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Sir: The travails of Vince Young do not surprise me at all. From what I heard or read, he was not a particularly brilliant student at the University of Texas. When he came into the No-Fun League, he was no better.

    “As ye reap, so shall ye sow.”

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On February 15, 2013 at 10:53 am


    Doing my Sergeant Joe Friday imitation here. “Just the facts, Ma’am…”

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