Bernie Kosar was drafted by the Cleveland Browns at age 21 and handed a multimillion-dollar contract, and as one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL in the 1980s and 1990s, he earned a fortune that should have lasted him several lifetimes. He also had a wife and four daughters, and a reputation as a family man.
But now he's bankrupt and in the midst of a nasty divorce.
"I was 25 and everyone was telling me that I was the smartest; now I'm 45 and realize I'm an idiot," he says. "I'm 45 and immature. I don't like being 45."
As crazy as it sounds now, Kosar was once viewed as a huge success story in the business world, and as the model for how an athlete should invest his salary. He owned restaurants and bought and sold real estate, and that's why, in his 20s, everyone told him how smart he was.
Former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar recently filed for bankruptcy protection in Miami. Kosar's Chapter 11 filing lists liabilities of between $10 million and $50 million. Click through the gallery to see more sports stars who have dealt with money trouble.
Jamie-Andrea Yanak, AP
Former Phillies and Mets star Lenny Dykstra said earlier this month that he's more than $31 million in debt.
Stephen Dunn, Getty Images
Mets legend Jerry Koosman could face up to one year in prison after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion. Koosman defrauded the government out of as much as $90,000, assistant U.S. attorney John Vaudreuil said. Sentencing is set for July 21.
Rich Pilling, Getty Images
Michael Vick, once the NFL's highest-paid player, is finishing a nearly two-year sentence under house arrest for dogfighting charges. He agreed to pay the Atlanta Falcons $6.5 million as part of his bankruptcy case, clearing the way for the team to release him.
Haraz N. Ghanbari, AP
Tennis legend John McEnroe was one of the many victims duped in a sophisticated $88 million art investment scam. McEnroe reportedly lost $2 million after investing a half share in two paintings, Arshile Gorky's "Pirate I and II."
Nathaniel S. Butler, NBAE / Getty Images
NFL running back Deuce McAllister allegedly owed Nissan more than $6.6 million in a dispute over his car dealership. In March, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation filed suit against McAllister's dealership, and federal marshals reportedly targeted its inventory.
Bill Haber, AP
New York Yankees' Johnny Damon, left, and Xavier Nady were among the investors whose finances were previously frozen because of money they had with a company affiliated with Robert Allen Stanford.
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In January, ex-slugger Jose Canseco battled against Danny Bonaduce in a boxing match because he's strapped for cash and claims to have squandered nearly $45 million. Canseco also tried his hand at mixed martial arts in May, but lost his debut in embarrassing fashion to giant Korean fighter Hong Man Choi.
Louis Lanzano, AP
According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, Knicks center Eddy Curry was sued by Casual Male Retail Group in December 2008 for $41,000 in unpaid clothing bills.
Rocky Widner, NBA
In May, former Oakland Athletics first baseman Troy Neel pleaded guilty to charges that he fled to a tiny South Pacific island to avoid paying about $725,000 in child support for his kids in Texas. Neel now faces as much as two years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
Texas Attorney General / AP
Kosar says that he could always hire people to do things for him, or have his wife and four daughters do household chores, so he never learned the most basic of tasks, like doing his own laundry or running his dishwasher. Now his wife has left him in a divorce that cost him, he said, between $4 million and $5 million in legal fees.
Although it obviously took Kosar a couple of decades too long to come to the realization that he had a lot to learn, I think it's refreshing that Kosar can admit his shortcomings and try to move on. Kosar may never again live the luxurious life he had in the 1990s, but he promises that he's not finished, saying his approach to life will be like his approach to football: "I'm going to come out of this fine. I always get up."