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Title: NCAA Okays Paying Student Athletes, Republican Senator Immediately Wants to Tax Their Scholarships
Source: Reason
URL Source: https://reason.com/2019/10/30/ncaa- ... nts-to-tax-their-scholarships/
Published: Oct 30, 2019
Author: Billy Binion
Post Date: 2019-10-31 15:09:10 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 299
Comments: 7

iconphotosfive482233

(Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire DAL)

"Americans need a break," said Sen. Richard Burr (R–N.C.) in 2017, following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. "Let's put more money back into the pockets of Americans."

Contrast that with his most recent stance on this issue, specifically pertaining to the NCAA's recent decision to allow college athletes to profit off of their name, image, and likeness.

"If college athletes are going to make money off their likenesses while in school, their scholarships should be treated like income," he tweeted. "I'll be introducing legislation that subjects scholarships given to athletes who choose to 'cash in' to income taxes."

The cognitive dissonance is baffling. I thought Americans needed a break?

Previous NCAA rules prohibited student-athletes from monetizing their talent and fame, even as the multibillion-dollar industry rested on their shoulders. California sparked the beginning of the end of that policy when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act last month, which paved the way for athletes in the state to start making money in 2023.

"We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes," Michael Drake, the chairman of the NCAA Board of Governors, said in a statement following the group's decision to ease the prohibitive rules nationwide. "Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education. This modernization for the future is a natural extension of the numerous steps NCAA members have taken in recent years to improve support for student-athletes, including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships."

But if Burr has his way, those scholarships would come at a high cost. In practice, this would disenfranchise just about every college athlete that hasn't reached superstar status by the time he or she graduates high school.

Consider a relatively unknown athlete who accepts a full-ride offer to a university at age 17. On average, the four-year price tag at a private institution amounts to $147,204, while an out-of-state student at a public institution pays $90,308. Who would be able to pay income taxes on that enormous lump sum when he or she has no guaranteed income other than a potential revenue-sharing check split countless ways? Only the few athletes with prodigious talent and promise of future sponsorships might opt in. Everyone else would be wise to take the scholarship and simultaneously sign away the right to profit from their hard work.

That would undoubtedly be a slap in the face to the scrappier athletes who improve tremendously in school. Take Steph Curry, for example, who went to Davidson College—which, at the time, sported a no-name basketball program—after Virginia Tech declined to recruit him. Davidson is no longer off the map, and for that, they can thank Curry, who is now a six-time NBA All-Star.

Indeed, Burr's proposition sounds more like an effort to dismantle California's law and the NCAA's subsequent change rather than an attempt to codify sound tax policy. Under his proposal, if a subsidized athlete chose to pursue sports-related moneymaking opportunities, their scholarship would be taxed as if the student were receiving it as a salary. But anyone who has attended college on scholarship knows this is patently absurd. Since when is free tuition equivalent to earning a living?

While the conversation around the new NCAA policy has been dominated by talk of "image and likeness," it also opens the gate for athletes to take advantage of smaller opportunities, as well—prospects that most people may not have assumed were off-limits. "For a tennis star, it could lead to giving paid lessons to recreational players," The Wall Street Journal notes. "For a gymnast with a crowd-pleasing floor exercise, it might mean monetizing a YouTube channel."

All of those avenues—big and little—reflect student-athletes' dedication and ability. Puzzlingly, Burr has spent his time in Congress defending people who use free markets in that same context. Why are athletes any different?


Poster Comment:

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
(2 images)

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#1. To: Deckard (#0)

Why shouldn't they be taxed on a gift that they receive along with large money for their names and image? U of Oregon is nearly a totally owned and operated subsidiary of Nike. How will recruiting be any different than hiring a team?

THIS IS A TAG LINE...Exercising rights is only radical to two people, Tyrants and Slaves. Which are YOU? Our ignorance has driven us into slavery and we do not recognize it.

jeremiad  posted on  2019-10-31   19:38:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: jeremiad (#1)

Because under our law, gifts are not taxable to the recipient, but to the giver, and the giver in this case is a tax-exempt university.

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-10-31   21:41:43 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: jeremiad (#1) (Edited)

How will recruiting be any different than hiring a team?

The way I understand it is that they want to tax the scholarship itself. Athletes are under the gun right now, but would you agree that if this goes through it will mean that all scholarships can be taxed?

I'd say maybe 90% of those athletes don't have the star power to actually make money from youtube etc. I would agree with you that any income from that kind of source would be taxable, but why even do that?

I mean when will it be enough for those greedy SOBs?

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-10-31   21:49:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Deckard (#3)

They sure are opening up a can of worms. The Universities are already factories of hate America. Not only do people who cannot read or write at HS level get a free ride, they get to make money for being brilliant athletes, while living off of government subsidies.

THIS IS A TAG LINE...Exercising rights is only radical to two people, Tyrants and Slaves. Which are YOU? Our ignorance has driven us into slavery and we do not recognize it.

jeremiad  posted on  2019-10-31   22:36:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: jeremiad (#4)

Not only do people who cannot read or write at HS level get a free ride, they get to make money for being brilliant athletes, while living off of government subsidies.

Yeah, I do agree there. The athletes need to be held to the same academic standards as the rest of the scholarship students.

Football and basketball programs make millions of dollars for the schools, so I don't really think they care about athletes' grades, so they look the other way when someone else takes a test for them or else the jocks take a bunch of H.S. level courses and idiotic courses like basket weaving to keep their GPA up.

They might as well be paying these jocks as if they were already in the NBA and NFL.

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-10-31   22:49:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Deckard, jeremiad (#5)

Sorry, but the free athletic scholarships IS their pay.

If they want to make money, too, then it should be taxable.

WWG1WWA  posted on  2019-11-01   0:01:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: WWG1WWA (#6)

Sorry, but the free athletic scholarships IS their pay.

If they want to make money, too, then it should be taxable.

I agree, any outside earnings would be technically taxable, but that is not what they are proposing.

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-11-01   1:05:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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