Vince Young grew up in the same area in Houston that I did (Hiram Clarke), so I'm always defensive about the former Madison High School standout. He is the most relevant and famous athlete we've produced.
What's happening with Young and his financial situation is disheartening, because even if he isn't going to be the NFL quarterback he hoped to be, he's still done enough on the football field (yes, through college and the pros) to never have to be in a position to worry about money again.
But just six years after entering the league, Young apparently doesn't have much to show for the $26 million he was guaranteed upon being drafted as the No. 3 overall pick by the Tennessee Titans.
Depending on which side of the story you believe, this could be attributed to either inept financial advising, or frivolous spending on Young's part (possibly both). Either way, Young seems to have lost control of his finances and doesn't have the same appeal as a quarterback that he had when he first started making big money.
It isn't a Michael Vick situation, where he'll be able to squander a big time contract, then make it back because of his unique ability. Young's not that guy.
He's is suing his former agent, Major Adams (brother of gospel singer and Houston-native Yolanda Adams), and a North Carolina financial planner, Ronnie Peoples, alleging that they misappropriated $5.5 million. The lawsuit, filed in Houston in June, claims that Adams and Peoples sometimes forged Young's signature or impersonated him on the phone or in emails.
If this were any other athlete, I'd be clowning him for making his uncle to be his financial adviser, without any prior experience of doing such. And hiring novices like Adams and Peoples, who were just starting their "Next Level Sports and Entertainment Inc.," was a clown move, too.
But since it's Vince, I'm taking the sympathetic attitude.
Truth is that it's hard not to feel bad for someone who makes more money than they know what to do with. It's like giving a 15-year-old a Ferrari. No one feels sorry for anyone with a Ferrari, but what if all they know how to do is crash it?
Young's attorney says he needs a job. Not a lot of teams seem to be interested in giving him one, with good reason. He hasn't developed into the skilled passer his apologists like me said he would.
So not only is his career on the field a failure for the most part, but he's not going to even have the money to show for it in the end.