It’s still not about the money.

When times are tight, that’s when you can count on creative solutions to a budget crisis, right?

The Knight Commission is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics heard all about the problems facing athletic programs in a meeting in Washington, D.C., today. This was the second public discussion in a year-long examination of the economics of big-time collegiate sports. The commission wants to find out why spending on athletics has increased while budgets have decreased, and come up with creative solutions for an unsustainable economic model.

“The struggling economy presents a prime climate for all stakeholders in college sports to take action,” said R. Gerald Turner, co-chairman of the Knight Commission and president of Southern Methodist University. Through innovative solutions, we can take measures to reign in ever-increasing athletics spending and preserve all that is good about college sports.”

Who could argue with that?  Well, other than the potential scapegoats, anyway:

Andy Geiger, former athletics director at Ohio State, Stanford and Maryland, said 50 percent of athletics spending is for coaches, staff, and scholarships – and pointed to these areas as a way to cut costs. But Geiger said significant change is unlikely until administrators address those expenditures.

Any suggestions on how to go about doing that?  Funny, but now that you mention it…

… John Colombo, University of Illinois tax law professor, explained how it would be difficult to remove tax-exempt status from “big-time college” football and basketball programs. Colombo argued, however, that Congressional action would be justified in attaching special limitations to athletics programs, such as restricting expenditures and/or mandating disclosures so that programs could continue to receive “tax-favored status.”

Colombo’s not some fringe character they trotted out for effect.  These guys are seriously looking for a way to rein in what they pay coaches.  If Congress gives them their quid, how much of a pro quo do you think they’d be willing to pony up in exchange?

3 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

3 responses to “It’s still not about the money.

  1. RedCrake

    Innovative solutions, you say Mr. SMU president?

    I’ve got a great idea, why don’t you just pay players to play for your school and you could cut recruiting budgets…

    oh, wait…

    P.S. Are you really in a position to talk about what’s good in college sports? You represent the school with pretty much the worst example of administrative oversight in the history of college athletics.

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  2. Dog in Fla

    Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of playoffs in the morning.

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  3. MacAttack

    The fact that colleges keep their 501(c)(3) status is a joke and anyone who looks at Myles Brand’s past statements defending it….can see how bad their own excuses are for keeping it. The NCAA’s main case for keeping is focused on a High School in Michigan charging for a tennis match. Yes, TENNIS match. Did I mention this was in the 70’s?

    I know this because I have written about it.

    But, don’t take that as me saying schools SHOULD be taxed because I don’t AND I know that right now…schools couldn’t pay it

    But, the Knight Commission puts together a very good argument. They just don’t give any answers as to what should be done.

    So, people can throw up their arms all they want, the rules of 501(c)(3) are EXTREMELY out-dated

    If you actually looked into it, the IRS has gotten into several schools (such as Texas) for illegal OBIT income but decided not to proceed because they knew the slippery slope they were going towards

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