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Former Pro Baseball Player Will Advise NFLers

Former Pro Baseball Player Will Advise NFLers

April 24, 2024

View the original article on wealthmanagement.com here.

The National Football League Players Association has tapped Chase R. Crump as a Registered Player Financial Advisor.

Crump is a partner at Shreveport, La.-based WFA. The firm is affiliated with RFG Advisory, a hybrid registered investment advisor based in Birmingham, Ala., with around $3.8 billion in AUM.

Crump was born and raised in the South and is a third-generation business owner. He grew up working in his family’s small retail shoe store, where he learned the details of markups, profit margins and accounting.

“Seeing my dad and grandad work for themselves and live a lifestyle they want was very appealing, so I followed,” he said.

While maintaining his interest in business in the classroom, Crump pursued his athletic dreams on the field. He earned a scholarship to play baseball for the NCAA Division III Louisiana Christian University Wildcats. After graduation, Crump became a professional baseball player in the Frontier League.

“I played every sport I had time for. I settled into baseball. It was my best one,” he said. “Any athlete’s dream is to play pro one day. To get the chance to do that was cool.” As he soon found out, though, baseball didn’t necessarily pay the bills.

“I was making $600 a month, maybe $500 after tax, on a rookie salary, so I wasn’t necessarily dealing with some of the things that I know NFL players are dealing with,” he said. He then focused on his business pursuits, working at Chase Bank and Capital One before joining WFA.

After a lengthy application, which involved what Crump described as an "FBI-style" vetting process that took about two years of interviews and background checks, the NFLPA approved Crump to join their program. In 2017, the NFLPA required advisors registered with the organization to hold either the CFA or CFP certifications. (Crump is a CFP.) Other requirements include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, at least eight years of relevant professional experience and no criminal record.

The program connects advisors with current and retired NFL players to offer money management and investment management services. The idea for the program came from the players themselves, according to NFLPA, and is meant to "provide players with an additional layer of protection from poor financial advice and outright fraud." Only around 270 advisors have been admitted into the program.
The new opportunities this certification provides will be in addition to the current work WFA does with collegiate, semi-professional, professional and retired athletes across multiple sports and those involved in name, image and likeness endorsement deals. Crump said he favored the recent NIL rule changes for student-athletes but that it “fast forwards” collegiate athletes to facing the decisions that used to come when they went pro. Basic moves like hiring a CPA, opening bank accounts, establishing credit and opening an LLC to run their endorsements may all be new to them.

“Those may not be high-level business things to me and you, but to the average athlete whose family has not been involved in money or financial education, that’s something they must juggle,” he said.