Phillip Buchanon’s cautionary tale: My mom demanded $1 million

AP

When Phillip Buchanon was a first-round draft pick in 2002, his mom decided that his payday would be her payday, too.

Buchanon, who has written a book offering cautionary tales about athletes going broke despite multimillion-dollar contracts, says that once he was drafted, his mom began to demand money. Buchanon says his mom told him the bill for raising him was $1 million, and she wanted it paid back right away.

“Soon after the draft, she told me that I owed her a million dollars for raising me for the past 18 years,” Buchanon says, via FOXSports.com. “Well, that was news to me. If my mother taught me anything, it’s that this is the most desperate demand that a parent can make on a child. The covenant of having a child is simply that you give your child everything possible, and they owe you nothing beyond a normal amount of love and respect. There is no financial arrangement. If you get old and infirm, and your kids are around to help you out at that point, then you’re lucky. It’s not written in the social contract.”

Buchanon wisely declined to write his mom a $1 million check, but he did buy his mom a house, which turned out to be more expensive than he expected when she also started demanding money for upkeep not only on the new house, but on her old house, which she declined to sell.

“I bought my mother a house,” he says. “I also advised her to sell the old one I grew up in when I put a new roof over her head, but my mother had other plans. Instead of selling my childhood home, she decided to rent it to my aunt. So I had to finance my mother, the budding landlord. Only this wasn’t an investment. It was an encumbrance, because I didn’t share in my mother’s profit-making scheme. For the next seven years, I continued to make mortgage and maintenance payments on both homes.”

Eventually Buchanon stopped giving his family money, but he says he lost several hundred thousand dollars before he reached that point. His book, New Money: Staying Rich, is designed to teach others who come into money at a young age how to say no.

113 responses to “Phillip Buchanon’s cautionary tale: My mom demanded $1 million

  1. I’m sure his taxes re-paid everything she was given to social services while raising him. Feel bad for the man, can’t believe some parents…

  2. Money changes most people. Not all, but most. Hope he and his Mom reconciled.

    How’s the kid doing financially? Hope he’s OK. He seems to have widsom.

  3. I somewhat know his mom, she’s a maid and use to clean my parents house in Fort Myers.

    She seems nice and always spoke highly of her son. He had bought her a new Cadillac last time I saw her, though that was 4-5 years ago.

    This is surprising.

  4. Not all, but some parents today are vipers, who will do anything for money, even if it destroys the life of their own child. Trash, it what they are.

  5. If anyone wants to see a sick story on things like this, look up the NHL player Jack Johnson.

    It’s pathetic that parents take advantage of their children like that.

  6. beach305 says:
    Apr 11, 2015 10:00 AM

    I rather give my money to my family than piss it away at a strip club.

    ——————-

    There’s a big difference between helping your family, and having your family demand money from you.

    In this case, I’d rather piss the money away rather than give it to leeches like his mom.

  7. Let me get this straight. You Mother raised you, provided for you, did without for you, fed you several times a day, everyday and you don’t owe her anything? Maybe, when she gets old and can’t do for herself, you might help her out?

    “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child”.

    And you jerks think he is wise? Wasn’t there a commandment about honoring thy mother and thy father?

  8. @dcappetini

    Of course you should help your parents. Conversely, you should never declare that your kid owes you $1MM because you raised them

  9. Thats the worst. It gets lost in the shaming of the million dollar athletes who lose their money. Too often the media/commenters insinuate drugs, booze, gambling and get rich schemes when a lot of time its just being too generous to people who supposedly helped you get to where they are.

  10. indymarc says:
    Apr 11, 2015 10:14 AM
    If you’re a Dallas Cowboy how can you pay $50,000 dinner tabs if you give all your money to your mom?
    —————————————————————-

    indymarc,
    Grow up dude!!!

  11. Looks like mom has a pecuniary instinct.
    That family must have a joyful time when they gather at Thansgiving.

  12. I bought her a new house, she said thanks for the shack. I bought her a steak dinner, she said thanks for the snack. Nobody loves me but my mother, but she might be jiving, too.

  13. “The covenant of having a child is simply that you give your child everything possible, and they owe you nothing beyond a normal amount of love and respect.”
    ———————————————————————

    While I agree that his mother demanding a million basically as a fee for raising him isn’t right at all, I can’t agree with this statement from him either.

    I’m hoping he didn’t mean it exactly like it sounds. If so, it might explain a lot more about him and his mom than is written in his book.

  14. Wow, didn’t know taking care of your mother was such an unusual thought.

    Kid’s first contract was $12M.

    After taxes kept $8M.

    $1M for the mom who worked as a maid to put food on his plate was sooo outlandish.

    But pissing money on a limo to practice, strip clubs, etc was spot on and acceptable.

    Wouldn’t pay for this book with your money.

  15. I remember Tim Brown saying “Phillip giveth and Phillip taketh away”. Such a great description of his time with the Raiders. Fits here too!

  16. Some college needs to come up with a ciriculum for these guys that’s not a farce: finances 101, contract negotiating 101, public speaking, simple psychology classes to help understand effects of sudden wealth, body maintenance, ect…. Seriously, these guys come out with bogus degrees in all sorts of fields. This would at least help prepare them for reality.

  17. dcapettini says:
    Apr 11, 2015 10:21 AM
    Let me get this straight. You Mother raised you, provided for you, did without for you, fed you several times a day, everyday and you don’t owe her anything? Maybe, when she gets old and can’t do for herself, you might help her out?

    “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child”.

    And you jerks think he is wise? Wasn’t there a commandment about honoring thy mother and thy father?

    ______________________

    I don’t think anyone here would argue not to take care of your parents but to give into the demands as Buchanon did is a bit too far and will only hurt everyone involved.

  18. @ realitycheck”$1M for the mom who worked as a maid to put food on his plate was sooo outlandish.”

    I’m curious as to how much of your pay check goes to your parents.

  19. If he had an attitude of entitlement there is no doubt where it came from. I would take care of my parents as best I could but they would never have made such a demand. We’ve argued over who grabs the check at a dinner out (trying to pay, not avoiding it) . I can’t imagine how he must have felt.

  20. I feel bad for the guy that his own mother is such a petty, selfish, greedy, low life scumbag. I’m surprised he was so successful being raised by her. Good for you Phil

  21. Let’s see those receipts, “Mom.” And money the government gave you doesn’t count.

  22. Wonder how many kids this…HOLE IN THE WALL MADE? If I had a contract and worth that much… I definatly would take care of my mom…BUT THIS ONE oh boy shes a piece of work… What I think he should have done is here is a million in the bank…. each month pull the interest out…. there you go live with in those means…

  23. new age parents. I have associates that have DNA donors like this. “‘merica !”

  24. “I bought her a new house, she said thanks for the shack. I bought her a steak dinner, she said thanks for the snack. Nobody loves me but my mother, but she might be jiving, too.”

    Is that you, B.B.?

  25. Hopefully the book sales to future professional sports figures will make up the money he has lost to his mother, and this time the money will benefit his own family.

  26. Don’t get the criticism of the man for refusing to give into her demand for a million. He paid the mortgage on two homes for her and some of you may have missed the point that now that he is broke she isn’t cutting him in on the revenues from renting out one of them.

  27. Gdcapettini says:
    Apr 11, 2015 10:21 AM
    Let me get this straight. You Mother raised you, provided for you, did without for you, fed you several times a day, everyday and you don’t owe her anything? Maybe, when she gets old and can’t do for herself, you might help her out?

    “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child”.

    And you jerks think he is wise? Wasn’t there a commandment about honoring thy mother and thy father?

    10 99
    Report comment

    ————

    Your 11th commandment “and the lord said onto thee, thou shall give thy mother at least 50% of your rookie signing bonus????”

    Not quite sure you’re interpretation of “honor thy mother” is on point

  28. I would have offered $1 million to my parents as thanks for raising me, putting up w/me, supporting me and encouraging me to be the best I can be, and hopefully y’all can now retire and not have to work another day in
    your life.
    I would have gladly bought them a new car or a new home if it was needed. I would gladly pay for something that they could enjoy but otherwise not afford.
    But if they had ”demanded” all this once I got my first contract, I would have been pissed and angered.
    And I damn sure would not have arrived at my first day of practice or training camp in a limo! Great cautionary tale for up-and-coming pros of any sport, but be sure you haven’t done anything wacky along the way.

  29. The only thing one owes without question to one’s parents is respect (this applies to regular parents, not deadbeats, abusers etc).

    THEY chose to bring you into the world and by making that choice they are obligated to give you the best upbringing possible (I am not talking money but giving you all the tools to become a responsible adult). By working hard to give you the tools to be a responsible adult, they do what they are supposed to do (read John’s [Sidney Poitier] speech to his father in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner).

    I m not saying you shouldn’t give your parents anything, but they certainly should not be demanding anything.

    There are so many athletes whose parents see them as a winning lottery ticket. I have become cynical when I watch the draft when I see the moms hug their sons’ when they get drafted because I really wonder how much of their happiness is just because their son’s succeeded and how much it is because of the money.

  30. This is the norm in the NFL — for example, when Letroy Guion was busted in FLA with about $200K in cash (of course with a gun and pot), he said it was from cashing his last game check to give to his family.

  31. I have teenage children. The boy eats at a rate that is a combination of fascinating and nauseating at the same time. Grows out of clothes every six months. Don’t even want to discuss utilities, between all his electronics and how often we have to use hot water to wash his clothes. I gotta figure I’m a million ahead once he moves out and finds a place of his own. No need to invoice to the boy, just turn in your house key, never eat here again, and we’ll call it even. And, should he want to buy us a place to live to replace his childhood home, downscale us, and buy a condo. I’m sick of maintaining the lawn, shoveling snow, and painting the house. Last thing his mother needs is a new house. She’ll nag me right into the grave with all the changes she’ll want to make. Finally, if my hearing goes, do NOT buy me a hearing aid unless it has an “off” switch!!! I’ve been dreaming of peace and quiet for almost two decades now.

  32. A sad story to be sure. But it doesn’t alter my memory of him as liability on the field and a cancer in the locker room when he was with the Raiders.

  33. The NFL needs to have him speak at the Rookie symposium, if he isn’t already.

    That blows.

  34. So if he truly isn’t about a profit-making scheme and really wants to help people… Will this book be FREE?!? Or will we have to pay for it?

  35. Then you have guys like Richard Sherman’s parents who continue to work even after being offered to being taken care of. Sherman’s dad
    Said he doesn’t want toibe off of his sons’ money.

    I’m sure there are many of parents of players like this. Then again, there are many parents like Phillips’ as well.

    It’s unfortunate.

  36. this guy is a class act the simple fact that he continued a relationship of any kind with his family speaks volumes about him as a man..well done sir

  37. Imnot saying this situation was handled well at all – but if your mother is working poor – then you do have a moral responsibility to help her.

  38. So if he didn’t work hard to be an NFL caliber player would her price for raising him been adjusted to what he wound up making say as a teacher or contractor? Some people don’t realize what is truly important.

  39. @ dcapettini

    Did you read his life story ??? Then you would understand. The kid had to move out of the house at 16 because he felt unsafe there. His mother had unacceptable acquaintances of which he describes as dangerous. His mother is a crackhead. He bought her a $300k house and it wasn’t good enough because she wanted 2 living rooms. Yup, she’s a deserving mother. ????

  40. See, I’d never ask one of my children for a thing. If you raised them the right way and taught them right from wrong and how to be a productive part of earth, they’ll do the right thing. If my kid offered to buy me a vintage mustang as a thank you present for me raising them. I’d assure them I don’t need anything but their success to make me happy. Who would turn down a 67 stand though? Haha

  41. Tough call, but the part about her refusing to sell her old house may have actually been worse than the $1 million demand. Can you imagine buying somebody a house and then discovering their expectation was for you to keep paying their mortgage on the old one, too? While they kept all the rent money?

  42. Family should be all about love for eachother not the love of money and should have eachother’s backs. My brothers and sisters and I grew up in a loving but sometimes argumentative/cantankerous house. Our parents were always there for us. To this day even though all of us have our own families, we would still take bullets for eachother. If one U.S. ever somehow got fabulously rich, we would make the rest of everybody comfortable voluntarily.

    It looks like this woman values her son’s money more than and this absolutely despicable and shameful. If my mother acted that way I would not give her a dime and not speak to her until she apologized and showed some genuine humility.

  43. dcapettini says:
    Apr 11, 2015 10:21 AM

    Let me get this straight. You Mother raised you, provided for you, did without for you, fed you several times a day, everyday and you don’t owe her anything? Maybe, when she gets old and can’t do for herself, you might help her out?

    “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child”.

    And you jerks think he is wise? Wasn’t there a commandment about honoring thy mother and thy father?
    *************************

    It’s stunning to me that you could’ve missed the point of the story so badly.

    How you came up with thinking he’s a ‘thankless child’ is a complete mystery to me. Did we read the same article?

  44. ericn42000 says: All these kids should give their mom 1 million why wouldn’t you!
    ===========
    There is a difference between giving your family some money as payback and giving ALL your money away. There are Ex-Athletes who do not have 2 nickels to rub together because their extended family (woodwork types) who DEMANDED that the Athlete pay up. I am not talking about those who do Piss Away ALL their money away, but those who felt they HAD to open their checkbook to all of their relatives.
    Some athletes do buy good homes to those who raise them before being asked. All Phillip’s mom saw was an open checkbook. Charging Phillip’s aunt money to rent her old house should show you what a slime his mother is.

  45. There is not one good excuse for amount of money NFL players make to be broke. Last book I would want to buy is another sad story from these athletics, we all have to make our way and there are millions of people work these ass off each and every day to make it in the finical based world we live in. Lets not cry to much.

  46. To all you people who think a kid owes his parents; it was the parents deciding to have the kid and not the kid deciding to have parents.

    Richard Sherman’s parents have the right attitude and I am sure Sherman will do all he can to keep them comfortable………willingly and happily.

  47. I would certainly help certain family and friends but not at their demands or manipulation.
    I would decide what they need and give them a 1 time gift. You don’t need to make them rich or dependent on you.

  48. These kids, who get handed millions on entry into the NFL should have an option to be paid over an extended period of time. It’s hard for family and friends to hit you up for millions if you’re only getting $8k a month. Half of these kids wouldn’t be broke. The other half would probably take the lump sum and make it rain. Can’t save them all.

  49. @keetz4

    You beat me to it… thank you.

    A child never asks to be brought into this world; the child arrives without any say in the matter.

    As a parent, you bring a child into the world because you are looking forward to the experience of raising and taking care of him… and that should be all the reward you seek.

    Of course along the way you will try to teach her about gratitude and humility, but you will do it because it’s the right thing to do and it will benefit her in the long run.

    But expecting a big fat “thank you” someday is placing an obligation on your child that he never had the chance to agree or disagree to.

  50. @ melikefootball says:
    Apr 11, 2015 1:49 PM

    There is not one good excuse for amount of money NFL players make to be broke. Last book I would want to buy is another sad story from these athletics, we all have to make our way and there are millions of people work these ass off each and every day to make it in the finical based world we live in. Lets not cry to much.
    ================================
    You didn’t read his story either. Damn, take a moment before posting. He’s not broke, and he’s not crying some sob story. In fact he’s trying to be responsible but his mother is a crackhead demanding he supports her and she’s be picky about the house she wants him to buy her. She wants 2 living rooms with furniture.
    I will tell you that many athletes that trust someone in their circle to look over their money and investments go broke, cheated out of it. Yes there are some bums that blow through it like children, but not all that go broke are dumb. Look at Mark Brunell, QB for the Jags. He lost everything and more in real estate investments when the market crashed and there are many other similar cases.

  51. I was raised by parents who didn’t put a dollar value on love.. You know… A family…. And I raised my kind kids in the same regard… This story is practically unbelievable.

  52. You Mother raised you, provided for you, did without for you, fed you several times a day, everyday and you don’t owe her anything?

    My existence was also mother’s decision, not mine.

    It’s called living up to your responsibilities.

  53. I am aware that the NFL offers symposiums for rookies regarding money management. I would hope that former players who faced bankruptcy are some of the speakers. It sickens me to hear such a story, but then children do not have a choice regarding parents at birth. Philip worked hard for his on his own, his mother unfortunately has a false sense of entitlement.

  54. She shouldn’t have to have demanded it. I’d say his views (and apparently most of the posters here)on what a child does or does not owe a parent is warped. You owe your family everything. Taking care of your blood is the first thing that should be on your mind when you come into a considerable sum of money. Most good people would put the needs of their immediate families before their own personal financial security. I pity anyone that can’t see the logic in that.

  55. None of us know their relationship prior to his signing. And, she may have never actually “demanded” anything. That he includes this in the book will surely help aid sales though. What I do know is that she scrubbed someone else’s filthy toilets, everyday, to keep a roof over his head and food in his stomach while growing up. Call her all sorts of names if you’d like, but it takes a special kind of commitment to be a maid.

  56. What’s worse than losing this money is the realization your own mom doesn’t really love you as much as you thought…

  57. Pretty sad reading this that his mother demanded this money from her son. He bought her a new place but that wasn’t good enough. Thinking about this mother of his reminds me of that movie Throw momma from the train. What a crap mother she was.

  58. as my grandma told all of her grandkids when we started to have kids
    NO ONE ASKED TO BE BORN OR ASKED FOR THEIR PARENTS
    MORAL of it raise them right provide for them when young and don’t ask for anything special if they make it big in the chosen field

  59. When their children come into a ton of money, it’s obvious they’re going to help the parents out with whatever they can. To “demand” anything is sickening. Props to him for trying to keep family strong, I’d have severed ties long ago.

  60. So basically his mother treated him like a casino chip or a annuity to be cashed in.

    Nice mom.

  61. Everyone owes their mom a mil, at least morally. It’s OK if you don’t have it, that’s just a bad bet your mom made, but you should plan on forking it over over a lifetime.

  62. The family members expect to receive money as if they got drafted too. Even if the players gives them money, these people keep coming back for more. The got money for a new kitchen but cousin Joe got a new car, I got to get a new car too. And oh yes, cousin so and so got a watch, come to think of it, I need a new Rolex. Any player in the mood to give should do it by contract of an annual small gift for as long as they are playing. You gotta wait for 1 January to get yours and that’s it. Ask me outside of that and your contract is null and void.

  63. I have mixed feelings on this. His mother was definitely wrong for asking, but he should forgive her. It’s still his mother. My Mom fell on hard times and tried to keep my car when I was younger. I had to take her to court to get my own car back. But still I forgave her. She made a mistake, but it’s still my Mother.

    Athletes and others who suddenly become very wealthy shouldn’t be expected to carry their families, but they should help them within reason if they need help. Without family, what do you have? A bank account full of money and a bunch of gold-digging women? I hear all the time about athletes blowing all their earnings on strip clubs, 50k meals and cars. It’d be best if they make proper investments and give just a little to their less fortunate family members. Empathy is a good thing.

  64. Of course empathy is a good thing. And the fact he provided for her shows that. But he had no time, just given an immediate demand. That’s sad…

  65. dcapettini says: Apr 11, 2015 10:21 AM

    Let me get this straight. You Mother raised you, provided for you, did without for you, fed you several times a day, everyday and you don’t owe her anything?
    ———————————
    She chose to bring a child into this world. It is her responsibility to give that child the best life possible. Don’t like it, simple, DON’T HAVE CHILDREN!

  66. A childhood friend of mine won $3 million in the lotto many years ago. Next thing he knew his family was fighting like cats and dogs to get the money. These people were very conservative and very religious but that didn’t matter. They had to have “their share”. The parent’s used every trick in the book going so far as having the church choir song in front of the house to guilt trip him into go into them money. The family had problems but this lotto was the impetus to tear them apart. The parents divorced, one brother went to jail briefly for assaulting my friend when he said no more, and my friend will no longer speak to any family member ever again. Most of the money is gone and the fancy cars have all depreciated. My friend said the lottery was the worst thing to happen to him.

  67. Dude didn’t say he was broke, he said he lost hundreds of thousands before coming around to his senses. There is a huge difference between raising a child for 18 years and taking care of an entire family for 50. The wants and needs of adults far outstrip those of a kid. I’m all for getting parents a home or just paying of their debt, but why should mom or dad be exempt from working after 30 or 40 years of existence? I don’t know her work history but I’ll wager it kicked in after age 18 and was probably sporadic. I’ve been on the job for 21 years and don’t forsee a end anytime soon. Good, he cut her mooching self off. That’s the lamest excuse…I raised you, you owe me. Maybe she should’ve used protection that glorious night.

  68. motleytrap says:
    Apr 11, 2015 10:49 AM

    @ realitycheck”$1M for the mom who worked as a maid to put food on his plate was sooo outlandish.”

    I’m curious as to how much of your pay check goes to your parents.

    =============

    As much as they’ll accept.

  69. Gee, I wonder if there’s a wee bit of hyperbole in this… You know, to sell the book?

  70. I figure he has learned how to manage money. This guy has earned a lot and has a 3 grand a month pension kicking in soon. He didn’t buy the house. He made a down payment of likely on s 200k house. 20 grand. He could have bought them. 200k house cash put money in escrow for taxes for life and forget about it. HOW HARD CAN IT BE? And to those who criticize his Clyde Frazier style, he was getting paid early a lot under the old CBA. Dude could take a limo to practice every day and not miss it. AND IT WSS HIS MONEY. He earned it.

  71. Lesson #1 at the NFL Rookie Symposium should be learning to say no to friends and family, and having that money be put into a trust or a place where it can’t easily be liquidated in the short-term. Maybe that would provide the credibility to keep the vultures away.

  72. I don’t think it’s so simple as calling her a terrible person or him a bad son or vice versa. THere was probably more to it than this.

    However, if you’ve ever seen the 30 for 30 called “Broke” it talks about all the demands on pro athletes who come from poor backgrounds. Players have every aunt, uncle, cousin, neighbor, friend and friend-of-friend asking for something. Even the guys on league minimum.

    It’s extremely difficult for these guys to hold onto anything and build anything for themselves and their future.

  73. If you sign your first contract and it’s a multi-million dollar contract, why shouldn’t you give your mom a million dollars?

    To me, that the first thing you do.

  74. There comes a point in time in everyone’s life where they realize their parents are just people. We grow thinking they’re deities, but as we grow up see them not just as parents but as regular people who have made both good & bad decisions. Sometimes this realization doesn’t come until it’s too late, other times people figure it out young and decide what kind of relationship they want to have. It’s a very interesting phenomenon and no one is immune from it.

  75. johnnycash19 says:
    Apr 11, 2015 10:12 AM

    If anyone wants to see a sick story on things like this, look up the NHL player Jack Johnson.

    —-

    What happened to Jack Johnson still enrages me. His parents are the absolute worst, and to make the story even better his father is attempting to run for office. Disgusting.

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