Former University of Alabama linebacker Saleem Abdul Rasheed, 30, of Bessemer, pleaded guilty to charges of food stamp fraud and falsely claiming a woman as his wife on immigration forms, according to a joint statement from U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley and ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr., the Birminghan News is reporting.
Rasheed played linebacker at Alabama from 1999-2001 before leaving school early to enter the 2002 NFL Draft. Rasheed was drafted early in the third round as the 69th overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers, and would spend four seasons in the NFL. Rasheed would later be cut in the 2006 preseason while with the Houston Texans.
After a hiatus, Rasheed would join the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders, helping them win the Grey Cup in 2008.
According to the report, Rasheed is charged in one count with signing a Department of Homeland Security form I-751, a Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence, on April 2 for a woman whom he claimed to be his wife, according to the statement from authorities. Rasheed was, however, legally married to another woman, according to the statement.
Rasheed also pleaded guilty to receiving $5,551 in Family and Food Assistance, from October 2009 until April 2010, while claiming that he was unemployed. He was, however, working as a teacher for the Jefferson County Board of Education during that time, according to the statement.
For those of us who have never played football professionally, stories like this one are extremely frustrating. The league minimum in 2002, the year he was drafted, was $225,000 annually. The next year a two year veteran was guaranteed $300,000. His salary package was likely more than this.
Anyone who understands the grass roots of investing (or knows someone who does) understands how just a little put back each month can grow into a healthy nest egg over time. Heck, if you save $2,000 per year from age 22 to age 30, putting it in a Roth IRA, and don’t touch it until age 60, you’ll net over $1 Million (according to the great Dave Ramsey).
Couple that knowledge with the basics of discipline, of which an athlete should understand, and once your name is callen on draft day you should have a future that doesn’t include financial hardship and/or Federal Court.