April 07, 2009 - Andrew Brandt
Last week’s testimony in Michael Vick’s bankruptcy hearing illustrates the continued lack of reality in this cautionary tale of a superstar and his money parting ways. Notwithstanding the matter of his criminal activity, Vick’s financial management has been a mess. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the bankruptcy court noted that he had amassed $3.7M in bills for professional services during the course of his case, or about $13,700 a day for the past 270 days. Vick said he was aware of the costs. Vick testified that a series of financial advisers made bad investments for him and inexplicably bought $90M in life insurance for him and his mother, requiring him to pay $1.2 million in annual premiums. Vick also talked about how he has financially supported a large group of relatives and friends, even while he sits in jail facing bankruptcy. Now making 12 cents an hour as a prison janitor, one would think Vick would have been humbled into bare bones expenses for the people around him; it appears he has not. Vick also testified that, assuming the NFL reinstates him, he sees himself playing football another “10 or 12 years” (what player in his 20s doesn’t see himself playing another 10 years?) and providing income to creditors after keeping the first $750,000 as part of the plan that was presented and rejected. Vick was told to come back to court with a revised plan; this one was not good enough. It appears that Vick, like a lot of professional athletes, had – and still has – a hard time saying no to friends and family looking for financial help.