Thursday, October 05, 2017

A Modest Proposal to Fix NCAA Sports

The sports world is waiting for the other shoe (or other sneaker in this case) to drop in the "NCAA basketball corruption scandal". So far 10 individuals have been charged with crimes by the FBI and a number of others have already lost their jobs including Louisville coach Rick Pitino (that's how Boston Celtics fans remember him looking like).

It is expected that some of the 10 already charged (maybe even all of the 10 already charged) will start "naming names" and when that happens - whoo-boy get the popcorn out! I mean who doesn't like staring at a good trainwreck? You've got shady AAU individuals, sneaker company money, coaches of flexible morals and University administrators willing to look the other way as long as the wins greatly outnumber the losses and the boosters are happy. All the makings of a great mini-series drama unfolding in real life.

Well I've got a modest proposal to fix this mess and it's quite simple and straightforward. Take away the tax-exempt status of college sports.

College sports is big business. Everyone knows this. Why not simply treat it as such? If colleges and universities had to pay taxes on all sports related revenue (ticket sales, TV and radio contracts, merchandise sales, etc) - which I argue is a very fair proposition - then IRS reporting and the rules that govern normal business behavior would take care of the rest. And by normal rules I mean little things like businesses actually paying their employees. 

There's an underground economy in college sports of AAU individuals, shady agents, crooked coaches and sneaker company employees all engaging in win at all costs behavior. Making college sports taxable will expose these dealings to the sunlight and at the same time get rid of the most unsavory characters (like a Rick Pitino - I hold a grudge). It would be similar to how legalizing pot in Colorado got rid of the midnight deal in Denny's parking lots and replaced it with well-lit storefronts with coffee and pastry (or so I've heard - haven't been to Colorado in a long time). 

Follow the logic to my argument. If college sports lost their tax exempt status then they would have to pay taxes and follow the IRS rules that every other business has to follow. This includes paying "employees" (aka "student-athletes"). If a student athlete was getting paid then there would no no reason for the best of them NOT to have an agent. Legitimate agents will send the sketchy guys now trying to make a buck back under the rocks from whence they slithered.

You could even sell this politically. Say that the monies raised from taxing college sports will specifically be used to fund military personnel taking advantage of the GI College Bill with any excess funds being used to pay down the national deficit. 

So let it be written. So let it be done.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Seriously, this is a good start.