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Jeff Eisenberg

Bobby Hurley's the latest ex-Duke star to endure financial trouble

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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In addition to their legacy as the first team to win back-to-back national titles since John Wooden's UCLA dynasty, members of Duke's 1991 and '92 championship teams seem to share something else in common.

They aren't too great at investing their money wisely.

The latest victim of a bad investment is former point guard Bobby Hurley, who the Lexington Herald-Leader reports is leaving the thoroughbred business after a bank foreclosed on his 140-acre farm in Florida. PNC Bank is expected to auction off Hurley's Devils Eleven Farm next month to help pay off the $3.3 million debt he owes.

Hurley's financial woes are making headlines slightly more than a year after two of his former Duke teammates hit a similar well-publicized rough patch. San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman filed a lawsuit in May 2009 against Blue Devil Ventures, owned by Christian Laettner and Brian Davis, for failure to repay a $3.64 million loan he had given the company in 2007.

It's a bit more surprising to see Hurley in this predicament considering that his foray into the thoroughbred industry began with so much promise. One of his first horses, the aptly named Songandaprayer, won the 2001 Fountain of Youth Stakes and emerged as an early Kentucky Derby favorite before eventually placing a midly disappointing 13th later that year.

Obviously, the trouble Hurley, Laettner and Davis have experienced is related to the nationwide recession, but it's probably safe to assume a segment of Duke-hating North Carolina and Kentucky fans are taking some perverse pleasure in this.

The rest of us can hope that Hurley's new assistant coaching gig alongside his brother at Wagner helps him land on his feet. And that the current crop of Blue Devils are taking thorough notes in their economics classes.


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