NIL Network

Home In The News Ryan Schachtner on Fighting Financial Illiteracy

Ryan Schachtner on Fighting Financial Illiteracy

by michelle
Published: Updated:

Recap: Ryan Schachtner, a financial expert who has consulted with many professional athletes, brings another unknown NIL issue to the table: What will happen when collegiate athletes monetize their NIL and don’t have education around finances? He mentions that responsibly handling finances is a notoriously difficult issue at the professional level: Within five years of retiring, 60% of NBA players file for financial bankruptcy and a whopping 78% of NFL players file bankruptcy or experience financial hardship after only TWO years out of the league. Schachtner foresees the same issues coming up for collegiate athletes and because of that, has developed a program geared towards educating athletes on topics such as credit, taxes, student loans, protecting your identity, identifying bad investments, budgeting, how to save, and protecting your biggest asset. He is partnering with athletic departments and hoping his program can be leveraged as a recruiting tool for the various programs.

Observations: This is the first time I’ve seen this topic brought up and I’m happy to see Schachtner in this space. The collegiate athletes who will benefit most from monetizing their NIL are the same athletes who would get drafted into the NBA and NFL and potentially have financial issues down the road. His program, and similar ones that I’m sure will be developed, will not only be hugely beneficial to collegiate athletes, but for their whole lives. 

Athlete Tips & Takeaways: 

  • How would you rate your financial literacy around the topics mentioned above?
  • Check out Schachtner’s book: “Foundation for Financial Excellence, Lessons from the Pros: A Game Plan for the Collegiate Athlete”

The Real Problem With Profiting College-Athletes

CHARLOTTE, NC / ACCESSWIRE / January 26, 2021 / With California passing the SB206 Fair Pay To Play Act, the State laws allow student-athletes to profit from their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL), which directly conflicts with current NCAA eligibility rules. While the bill does not come into effect until 2023, other States have passed similar legislation. With this, strong opinions and heated conversations have arisen as well as controversy. Despite this, the NIL and similar legislation are here to stay, with the focus now needing to be placed on the implementation of new ideas to fight financial illiteracy.

According to Ryan Schachtner, financial expert, author, ‘athlete financial whisperer’ and founder of A Must Win, the decision to pay athletes while in college based on the amount of revenue they help the NCAA, university, community, and university sponsors generate is not the biggest issue with the new NIL legislation.

While the main argument against paying players seems to be that access to the ‘college athletic platform’ allows the athlete the audience to preform and profit at the next level. The reality is very few athletes will make it to that level and if they do, won’t make millions of dollars. The fact is student-athletes in general aren’t taught how to handle basic finances. Personal opinions on Name, Image & Likeness laws, according to Schachtner, are likely not to change regardless of how passionate opinions are. “It’s here to stay, so let’s focus on doing the right thing. While intended to help college athletes, the law is likely to cause long-term harm,” said Schachtner.

“When did giving an 18 to 24-year-old significant money without guidance on how to take care of it ever worked out for good? Very few student-athletes leave college with any financial literacy skills. Whether they go ‘pro’ in a sport, they enter the ‘real world’ and have to figure things out as they go, often only learning the ‘right way’ after making mistakes, mistakes that can derail them in the short term and if not caught early years into the future.”

He continued, “I was referred to a retired Major League Baseball player and when we sat down his financial life was a mess.” This represents the majority of professional athletes where 60% of NBA players file for financial bankruptcy within five years of retiring; 78% of former NFL players file bankruptcy or experience financial hardship two years after leaving the league and a large percentage of MLB players file bankruptcy five years after retirement.


You may also like

As NIL grows rapidly and enters 2024 as a billion dollar industry, more brands are jumping in and reaping the benefits of college athletes promoting their products or services. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that only the biggest and most popular athletes can deliver campaign results. Here, College Athlete Influencers explores why that’s not the case and how brands can maximize their ROI through college athlete influencers.

Join NIL Network

NIL support & guidance, available when you need it.

Our membership is conducive to both the professionals that work in NIL every day and those who just need to keep a pulse on the ever-evolving landscape.


for one year of access

 (limited availability)