Feb. 4, 2016
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –
As part of its ongoing educational mission, the Crimson Tide’s D.R.I.V.E. For Success program has hosted a pair of seminars during the current academic year in conjunction with Regions Bank geared toward financial literacy.
“The goal of the student-athlete enhancement program is to prepare our student-athletes for successful lives their time at Alabama has come to a close,” executive associate athletics director Kevin Almond said. “Financial literacy – helping our student-athletes understand that the financial decisions they make now will affect their lives throughout their college years and as they begin their professional careers – is a crucial step toward making that goal a reality.”
The program that was held in October, known as “Reality Fair” was geared mainly toward freshman student-athletes. The first part of the program was an interactive experience in which the students were given a number of real-world financial decisions to make, and were counseled on how to make the best choices for a healthy financial future. The second portion of the program engaged the student-athletes through Q&A based on financial information they need to know.
“I thought the Reality Fair helped me realize that it is never too early to start thinking about your financial situation,” freshman soccer player Emma Welch said. “The Fair also stressed the importance of making smart decisions and to not just give in to what you want, but consider what you can afford. I left feeling more prepared about my financial situation than before.”
The second financial program was open to all student-athletes regardless of class, and featured renowned financial literacy coach Eric Smith. Smith put on an engaging and entertaining presentation that introduced the four principles of winning financially: saving, planning, spending, and giving.
“Mr. Smith really brought home that being financially successful requires being constant – exactly like being a successful athlete – and making good financial behavior become a habit,” junior swimmer Carlo Rezzonico, a finance and economics major, said.
Smith also covered reasonable debt management, credit, credit scores and how to pull credit reports as well as credit and debit cards, good vs. bad debt.
“I knew I should be planning my financial future but I never realized how much of a difference it makes to start early on in life,” junior rower Abby Marks said. “Moving forward I plan to employ his 80-10-10 rule while working toward the 60-30-10 balance to save between 10% and 30% of my monthly income.”
The seminar also explored the importance of budgeting, identity theft and how to avoid it, and the magical power of compounding interest.
“As a senior about to step into the real world, it was very beneficial to learn how to budget, save, and invest my money for my future career,” golfer Emma Talley said. “Our athletic department has done so much for us as people not just athletes on campus and I’m very thankful and honored to be a part of this amazing school.”
Smith interacted with several student-athletes through large group Q&A sessions, as well as calling a few down at a time to interact through educational games and trivia.