The NCAA and its student-athletes have entered a whole new world with regards to finances. With student-athletes now being able to profit off of their own name, image and likeness, certain players are set to earn notable income from sponsors and advertisers. This essentially starts the professional clock a little bit earlier, and with a larger paycheck comes greater responsibility. Professional sports leagues have financial training that rookies need to attend before their first season, but the NCAA has never had to deal with educating 18 year olds on how to balance and invest earnings.
With the landscape having changed drastically, the NCAA has partnered with Invesco/Invesco QQQ to help teach financial literacy to student athletes. They’ve created a practically named digital game called “How To Not Suck At Money”. The game is based on fictional college students living in a college town, who are faced with simulated real-life financial decisions and scenarios. “How To Not Suck At Money” touches on budgeting, banking, credit cards, investing and other topics.
Before the game was released to the general student-athlete population, 1,500 students were involved in research and product development to help create a final version that would resonate with their peers.
“With only 14% of college students participating in noncredit financial education programs, we want to extend this commitment to college students from all backgrounds, including student-athletes,” said Emily Pachuta, chief marketing and analytics officer for the Americas at Invesco.” Via NCAA.org
This initiative is coming at just the right time for the NCAA, and hopefully a majority of student-athletes decide to play the game. The great thing about “How To Not Suck At Money” is that it is applicable to every player across the nation. It can certainly help the star athletes who are pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars in NIL endorsements, but it can also help players who aren’t, and are targeting jobs in academia or outside of sports. Knowing how much one can afford to spend on rent, leisure purchases, and household needs can help save a lot of problems down the line.
Georgia men’s head basketball coach Josh Pastner thinks this type of education is something former athletes wish they had early on.
“They’ve made a lot of money, and then years later, they’re totally broke. And a lot of times if you hear the stories, what they’ll say is they didn’t have the education part of it during the time, maybe while they were in college,” Pastner stated. Via NCAA.org
There are a myriad of college courses that students and parents find inapplicable to everyday life, but this is a venture that can teach lessons that will last a lifetime.