Details Emerge in Pickleball's Biggest Financial Scandal

Rodney Grubbs of Pickleball Rocks

Usually, we see pickleball land in The Wall Street Journal or some other large publication and think, "oh, great, another one-sided story about noise" or "another article about how 'PB is everywhere.'" 

Not this time. WSJ just dropped an article with the title, The Multimillion-Dollar Scandal Rocking Pickleball. Color us intrigued. 

Actually, the story's been developing since December of 2023 when a well-intentioned pickleball fan and investor uncovered a scandal involving Rodney "Rocket" Grubbs and his apparel line, Pickleball Rocks.

“The world’s most recognized pickleball apparel brand,” as Grubbs referred to his company, was mostly funded by the founder issuing promissory notes typically worth $25,000 at 12% interest. 

Court documents show Grubbs owes $47.5 million - but hasn't been charged with a crime; only given a cease and desist order from his home state of Indiana.

The People Affected by Grubbs' "Endeavors"

Pickleball Rocks received investments from over 500 people around the United States and the world, very few of whom have seen their correct return.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a group of creditors compelled Grubbs into involuntary bankruptcy following a hearing in federal bankruptcy court. 

That forced him to close his brick and mortar store and withdraw from tournament participation. 

Read Next: This Year's Pickleball Crime Spree Sadly Isn't Over

WSJ's reporting shows Grubbs is worth $1.6 million. He recently told the media outlet that he "never issued a loan he didn’t intend to repay" and that he does not have any hidden assets. 

Grubbs claims that the pandemic significantly impacted his business, which he says he hoped to reinvigorate before being forced to declare bankruptcy. 

Regardless of Grubbs' intentions, we hope those who invested in his company - including one 87-year-old who says he pressured her into dipping into her nest egg - receive their due financial compensation. 

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