Former NFL players focus on financial education, business

Mar 11, 2022, 9:56 AM | Updated: 11:58 pm
FILE - Chicago Bears' Adewale Ogunleye, accompanied by Danieal Manning (38) and Hunter Hillenmeyer ...

FILE - Chicago Bears' Adewale Ogunleye, accompanied by Danieal Manning (38) and Hunter Hillenmeyer (92), runs after recovering a Denver Broncos fumble during the second quarter of an NFL football game Nov. 25, 2007, in Chicago. Ogunleye, a Pro Bowl defensive end during a 10-year career, leads UBS Global Wealth Management’s athletes and entertainers strategic client segment. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

Former NFL players are helping athletes prepare for life off the field.

Wale Ogunleye, a Pro Bowl defensive end during a 10-year career with Miami, Chicago and Houston, leads UBS Global Wealth Management’s athletes and entertainers strategic client segment.

Copeland Bryan, who played three seasons in Buffalo and Detroit, and Cameron Lynch, who spent four seasons with the Rams and Tampa Bay, participated in the NFL Business Development Program in partnership with Visa. They took part in the NFL Player Care Foundation’s fourth annual Super Bowl Career Fair in Los Angeles, and are completing, two-year rotational program across various Visa business lines.

“Being a former athlete, I just realized that the industry could do a better job of providing guidance to our high net-worth individuals, especially our athletes, and using our platform to help with financial decisions,” Ogunleye said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “I made a ton of money; that didn’t make me an expert in money. So, I went back to school, I educated myself. But, I do feel like our advisors at our firm should have an obligation to teach as they go, teach our athletes to understand what their finances are, and make sure that they have a legacy to fall back on when their playing days are over.”

Ogunleye made the Pro Bowl in 2003 after registering a career-best 15 sacks with the Dolphins. He was traded to Chicago following a contract dispute and signed a $34 million, six-year deal with the Bears.

In his role with UBS, he wants to equip players with information to make smart decisions for their future.

“Financial education, dealing with our financial advisors, make sure they understand, that our athletes need to have a legacy,” he said. “And then also, lastly, dealing with our clients themselves, the athletes themselves and entertainers, making sure that we get behind them, their philanthropic endeavors, the life after the stage, after sports. Because even if you are a Tom Brady, you still have the rest of your life to live, right? What are you going to do with that? Even if you’re an anomaly like myself and played 11 years in the league, I was done in my 30s. I’m still fairly young, so I haven’t retired from life. And I think that what we’re going to do at UBS is we’re going to look at our athletes as businessmen, business women, entrepreneurs, knowing that this is just a small segment of their life. And once those 15 minutes of fame are up on the on the field, we want to make sure that you have a much longer, longer life to live toward getting that legacy for you and your family, maybe the communities that you’ve come from.”

Bryan considered pursuing his MBA at Harvard, Yale or Stanford before the NFL Players Association gave him an opportunity to join the league’s business program with Visa. He is completing his rotation on Visa’s Strategic Initiatives and Global Technology Partnerships team.

“Since coming on, I’ve had a few years getting to do some very interesting work,” Bryan said. “This has been an opportunity to really hone the skills that I had developed kind of from a startup and business development consulting world. I’d always been corporate adjacent, never in corporate. Just getting to see kind of the processes in a corporate structure, in a big company like Visa that gets to touch like every other company in the world is very eye-opening.”

Lynch stressed the importance of preparing for a career after retirement. He last played with the Buccaneers in 2018 but the 28-year-old was ready for the next phase of his life at a young age. He began preparing in college and continued in the NFL.

“While I was playing, I interned in the offseason. I made sure on my off days I did community service to build up that resume for when after I retired,” he said. “Being undrafted, I knew it could come at any day. Thankfully, I ended up at Visa, Silicon Valley, where we’re able to use my skills from on the field and bring them to the boardroom and also getting my MBA, getting that terminology down, going from one team to the other. The playbook is different going from the Rams to the Buccaneers. So going from the field to the boardroom, the playbook is different. So I got my MBA to get knowledge, to get educated and to apply those skills at Visa.”


More AP NFL: and and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr., works out during practice at the team's NFL ...
Associated Press

Commanders’ Robinson practices for 1st time since shooting

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Brian Robinson Jr. is back practicing with the Washington Commanders for the first time since being shot in an attempted robbery. The rookie running back returned to the practice field Wednesday, just over five weeks since the shooting. He could play as soon as Sunday against Tennessee, but neither Robinson nor […]
1 day ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge, left, hits a solo home, his 62nd of the season, in front of Texas Ra...
Associated Press

Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge isn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale Wednesday, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record. When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, […]
1 day ago
FILE - Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) stands on the field during an NFL football...
Associated Press

Browns’ All-Pro Garrett back practicing after car accident

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Cleveland Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since being injured in a car accident last week, when he lost control of his Porsche while speeding. Garrett didn’t play in Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons while he recovered from a sprained shoulder, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

LIV Golf trying to get world ranking points via small tour

LIV Golf’s latest bid to get world ranking points is by aligning itself with a little-known tour that offers $75,000 purses and has not held a tournament since early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The MENA Tour — Middle East and North Africa — announced Wednesday a strategic alliance that will result in MENA sanctioning LIV […]
1 day ago
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) looks to throw during the first half of an NFL footba...
Associated Press

Pro Picks leans toward Broncos to kick off Week 5

A month into the season, it’s clear Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan are still adjusting to their new teams. The star quarterbacks go head-to-head this week on Thursday night when Wilson and the Denver Broncos (2-2) host Ryan and the Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1). “I think here, the transition has been great,” Wilson said. “I can’t […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Turkey OKs sending troops to Qatar for World Cup security

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s parliament on Wednesday approved deploying Turkish soldiers to Qatar to help maintain security during next month’s World Cup. With a show of hands, lawmakers approved a motion to send an unspecified number of troops to the Gulf country for six months. Fikri Isik, a ruling party legislator and former Turkish […]
1 day ago
Former NFL players focus on financial education, business