Not so smart?

by Walter Olson on April 5, 2014

Northwestern athletes’ “college football participation = paid work to be governed by labor laws” argument may boomerang with a whopping tax bill [TaxProf, Bleacher Report on NLRB giving nod to idea]

{ 4 comments }

1 Ed 04.05.14 at 9:24 am

Other questions: Div. I teams are generally the only ones who make money; will Div. II and III be unionized and pay their players as well? Football and men’s basketball make money, other sports don’t; will other sports (soccer, baseball, golf , tennis, etc.) be included in the union; will they be paid the same? Other than pay, what other working conditions will the union negotiate (locker rooms, academic loads, grades)? Will the union be allowed to grieve things that happen during a game ( I was benched)? How will paying players affect the availability of money for other sports? Will players be allowed to strike? Will paying players allow successful teams buy up players by paying higher wages? Will Title IX requires women’s teams be paid the same as men’s teams?

2 Mannie 04.06.14 at 8:44 am

They should be taxed on their income.

This will essentially end athletic scholarships, and gut Div 1 sports as we know it.

3 David Schwartz 04.06.14 at 2:46 pm

The taxable portion of a scholarship is, by regulation, the customary wage for the services the scholarship is provided in exchange for. So this reasoning would only apply to scholarships provided in exchange for services that the college would otherwise pay for. College athletes that do not receive athletic scholarships are never paid any salary, so the taxable portion of the scholarship would still be zero.

4 Jack Olson 04.06.14 at 3:50 pm

Watch the colleges tie themselves into knots trying to convince the IRS that football and basketball players are “independent contractors” so the colleges don’t have to pay payroll taxes on what the colleges pay the players. And that the players are employed under 30 hours a week so the colleges don’t have to provide them medical insurance.

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