By Larry Lazo, CNN
(CNN) - Most professional athletes are well aware of the fact that one day their careers will come to an end. Those who earn salaries in the millions of dollars are most likely financially secure for the rest of their lives provided they are wise with their money. Others are not so fortunate.
"About 75 percent of NFL players are bankrupt within 5 years of retirement," said Doug Guthrie, Dean of the George Washington University School of Business. "They have resources early in their life but they don't have the business skills not only on how to manage those resources, not lose them, but how to deploy those resources and take themselves to another level in the business community."
With that said, there is a new MBA program specifically geared toward professional athletes to help them maximize their financial potential.
"I'm living my dream right now but when this dream ends there's another one that's going to have to take place," said Brendon Ayanbadejo, a linebacker with the Baltimore Ravens. Ayanbadejo is part of the inaugural class of George Washington University's STAR Executive MBA program. It’s a customized program where students meet for 8 hours a day in two-week modules. They'll take 6 modules over two years at select college campuses across the country.
"We all have businesses that we want to do once our careers are over," said Ayanbadejo. "We need to learn the fundamental ways how to grow those businesses and do them the right way."
A modular curriculum to an MBA isn't new, but tailoring it to students worth tens of millions of dollars is a new approach. "We want them to be able to channel those resources in becoming great business leaders in society," said Guthrie.
Most of the students are current or former football players but there is some diversity sprinkled in the classroom. "What I really want to learn from this program is how to do things the right way," said Michelle Lau, a professional poker player. "I've always done things through experience and now I just feel like I want to learn the actual terminology and the proper way to do things."
Spouses are also encouraged to apply. Kimberly Starks attends with her husband, former NFL player Duane Starks. "There's a lot of pressure," she said. "There are a lot of papers that are due, homework assignments, blogs, exams... it's high-paced."
"We want them over the course of these 18 months to 2 years to really be thinking deeply about who they are going to become as business people," said Guthrie. "What types of finance accounting, management, leadership skills they need to get to make that happen and then how to get them the access to the people that can help them along the way."
Ayanbadejo says he isn't ready to walk away from pro football yet but wants to have his future mapped out as best he can right now. "Time waits for nobody so I gotta get it done now," he said. "There is a dream after football."