Two recent TV news segments provided deep insights into the immense revenue streams associated with college sports: “College teams play game of musical chairs switching conferences for TV contracts” (Nov. 29, PBS Newshour) and “Has college football become a campus commodity?” (Nov. 18, CBS 60 Minutes).
One would hope that these news reports would prompt tax-code and debt-crisis-focused government officials to initiate a scrutiny of federal tax policies that allow many billions of dollars of college sports related revenues to go tax free when America is in such desperate need. These revenues come from multibillion-dollar television contracts, merchandise sales and profits from the sale of images of former athletes, as well as from donor contributions that also provide a tax-exemption for the donor.
Sad to say, the tax-free revenues help drive academic corruption and the related loss of academic integrity at schools sponsoring professionalized college sports entertainment businesses — schools that tend to go academically adrift in a sea of sports.
Sadder still is the fact that it will require great political courage to put this initiative on the table.
Frank G. Splitt
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