Damon Dash’s Cousin Among Many Arranging Loans For NFL Players
Yahoo sports’ investigation into NFL players securing loans for the lockout was very revealing–starting with the interview given by Darien Dash, who is listed as the Managing Director of Sports of Pro Player Funding. Just so you know, Dash is the cousin of Jay-z’s former business partner Damon Dash. A few years ago Dash settled a 48 million dollar law suit with Michael Jackson for 5 million over loans he secured for him.
When I googled “Sports of pro player funding” all that was returned was links to Yahoo’s article and other sites that linked to Yahoo’s article. Dash’s former company was called Prescient and google hasn’t heard much about that either.
Obviously, I’m not accusing Dash of anything, he was clearly willing to talk about his activities on record and, he won his lawsuit against Michael Jackson, and there is clearly a demand for his services.
But what I think is important to know is that it’s not very difficult for someone with family or friend connections to set up a middle-man company and secure some clients. This is something players often do not realize.
Legal and financial sources with ties to players say many affiliated with the high-risk loan industry are soliciting individuals close to cash-strapped players.
“[They] are your gray-area guys who aren’t agents, aren’t managers, aren’t financial advisors,” the financial adviser said of the loan industry middlemen. “And [they’re] getting fees of $100,000-$150,000 for getting players to sign off on the loans.”
In order to ensure payment on the loans, financial sources say lenders are also requiring that players purchase insurance policies which guarantee payment in the event a player gets hurt. Sources say the premiums on those policies may reach as much as $200,000, which also provide additional kickbacks for middlemen.
As I was reading, I kept thinking about the fact that players are typically paid via 16 game checks during the season. It is off season. Players are not expecting checks (save for a few that might be in the market for spring bonuses). Most of the players who are in financial trouble RIGHT NOW would have been in financial trouble RIGHT NOW were there no lockout at all.
To me, that says players are regularly entering COMPLICATED financial deals that are completely unnecessary in many cases. As the writer of the article implied by way of statements from the NFLPA, players are a financial risk both from a health perspective and from the standpoint that their jobs are not secure. There are a limited amount and type of loans (and possibly lenders) available to players, their options are not vast enough so as to require a “finder” and “arranger” for those loans. In particular, if that finder is not an agent or lawyer they’ve retained.
What’s more, players who are nervous about a protracted lockout are being encouraged by some middlemen to get loans now before they experience a liquidity issue. I realize that players should be smarter with their money and who they trust–I mean, shouldn’t we all. But the thought of people taking advantage of players’ anxieties around a lockout doesn’t sit right with me.