October 05, 2006

Congress challenging NCAA tax-exempt status

As with organized crime, as long as the activities stay small and quiet and no one gets hurt, "the man" will look the other way. Once money starts flashing and attitudes start to annoy, "the man" get involved. Just ask the Gotti...That may be the case as USA Today reports the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee requests that the NCAA respond to a letter to defend their status as a tax-exempt not-for-profit institution. The story also appears on AP wires around the country.

While USA Today highlights a Tulane faculty member suggesting that committe chair Bill Thomas is grandstanding, I prefer the quote at the end of Steve Wieberg's piece...
"College sports has grown into a standard commercial enterprise — with only a tip of the hat to the academic environment they exist in." - Andrew Zimbalist, Smith College economist
I have no problem with everyone getting the money they deserve - I am just not sure that labor (athletes) is getting an appropriate percentage of the revenue from management (NCAA schools). Article quotes "the NCAA's projected 2006-07 budget anticipates nearly $563 million in revenue, including $503 million from its TV contract with CBS." My local church, nor the local Humane Society certainly aren't raking in that kinda coin.

College football and basketball in particular are tremendous entertainment vehicles and stupendous cash cows, preferred by many viewers due to its "purity of sport" and not tainted by greed and capitalistic desires. I simply question, like Rep. Thomas, if that line can even be drawn anymore.

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