MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 26: Former University of Miami Hurricanes Quarterback Bernie Kosar signs autographs for fans prior to the start of the final game at the Orange Bowl against the Miami Dolphins January 26, 2008 in Miami, Florida. This is the last game to be played in the Orange Bowl. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)
On Wednesday, Fort Lauderdale Bankruptcy Judge Raymond Ray put Kosar's bankruptcy case into Chapter 7 liquidation. The order gives a court-appointed trustee authority to sell Kosar's assests to pay off creditors.
A national championship ring from the Hurricanes' 1983 season offered on eBay suggests it may have already started.
In court documents filed in September, Kosar claimed $9.2 million in assets, including a Weston mansion where he lives with his oldest daughter, and $18.9 million in debt.
He has said he owes $1.5 million to the Cleveland Browns, for whom he starred from 1985 to 1993; $3 million to Babette Kosar, who divorced him in 2007; $725,000 from a personal loan from the owner of the arena league Cleveland Gladiators; and over $9 million to a bank thanks to several failed real estate deals.
(It's not an accepted financial measurement, but it's safe to say if you're borrowing from an area team, well, things are pretty bleak.)
Kosar's eponymous steakhouse chain stayed in the pocket too long, just like Kosar, and went out of business last year.
After Kosar retired as a Dolphin in 1996, he quickly put his dual degree in finance and economics from UM to work. He made piles of money a variety of ways, including investing in a company that later sold for $500 million, and gave away "eight figures" to charities (including, we presume, the Florida Panthers, of whom he was a part owner). He put over 100 kids through school, but, his wife claimed, gave away too much to family and friends who came to him with troubles.
"I got here with hard work; I'll get out of this with hard work," he has said of his financial troubles. "No wallowing. No 'woe is me.' I'm great at making money. And, as we've found out, I'm great at spending it. What I'm not great at is managing it."