Jim Harbaugh’s not a CPA.

But he knows his players aren’t, either.

During a question-and-answer session with those in attendance Thursday at the SeaGate Centre for the “Access for Justice” awards dinner, Harbaugh hinted that paying players might not work.

“Four years of playing high school football, I don’t think anybody’s looked back on that and said they wish they hadn’t played,” Harbaugh said. “But now you take all those people who played all four years of high school football, I believe the percentage is 1 percent of them will go on to play college football.

“And then all of the players that play college football, I think again the percentage is actually 1 percent that will actually play in an NFL game.”

Where is Harbaugh going with all this? He’s trying to push the idea that college athletes should focus on their education, first and foremost.

That means obtaining a degree at a four-year school, or a two-year school, the military, or even a trade school.

“Something after high school is a must these days,” Harbaugh said. “Really, that education is what’s the most valuable and what’s the most important. Sometimes, somebody thinks what’s good for them and what they need are two different things.”

But here’s where Harbaugh gets serious on the matter, questioning whether paying players a salary would really work. Say a player receivers a $65,000 athletic scholarship, he says, and then a school tacks on a $30,000 or $40,000 salary.

What happens when it comes time to pay taxes?

“I don’t know if anybody’s asked this question, but does the scholarship then become a taxable benefit?,” Harbaugh said. “Is the government going to look at that and say, ‘OK, now you owe us 40 percent in taxes?’ You may now have to pay more money than you actually make in the salary with taxes.

“No, I don’t think (they should get paid).”

Mind you, big Jim has no intention of getting an actual answer here.  He’s just asking so he can warn his players if they’re not careful, they could wind up writing a check for the privilege of playing for him.  That’s some especially ripe bullshit there.  Almost makes me wish Corch would come out and say if that ever were to happen, Ohio State would pay their kids enough to cover the loss… which, of course, is just where things would start.

In the meantime, kids, get that valuable degree.  At least as long as it’s in a program that doesn’t take too much focus off your football work.  Oh, and remember to make enough of a contribution on the field so that you don’t get to the point you have to seek a transfer — preferably to a school where Harbaugh doesn’t object to your enrollment.

He’s a real prince.


Filed under Heard About Harbaugh?, The NCAA

25 responses to “Jim Harbaugh’s not a CPA.

  1. What a fool.

    I have absolutely no idea why these idiots don’t or won’t talk about marketing name and likeness. I don’t know if that would make Kessler go away, but it seems to be a damn good place to start.


    • Got Cowdog

      There’s your answer, Jimbo. If your player gets a salary of $38k, he’ll pay about $4k in taxes and get probably $2.3k in a return with his deduction.
      Scholly’s don’t count.
      Thanks for the h/t Spur.


    • Charlottedawg

      Beat me to it. A scholarship is not taxed. I know from experience.


    • Just Chuck (The Other One)

      Or, if he doesn’t read well, a simple phone call to the financial aid office at Michigan gets him an answer. Do you think he knows Michigan has a financial aid office?


  2. DawgPhan

    I am sure there is a Michigan man that would be more than happy to go over taxes with him.


    • With what Harbaugh makes, you’d think he’d have enough to worry about with paying his taxes that he wouldn’t have to time to worry about anyone else’s.


    • Bulldog Joe

      “Jim, we have the New Jersey tax assessor on line 1 and Illinois on line 2.”

      “They’ve seen our schedule.”


  3. paul

    I believe that if a player gives you their entire four year of eligibility the school should be obligated to provide them with tuition for however long it takes them to graduate if they so desire. This would include allowing them to return after their pro careers to finish their degree. Heck, even if someone is riding the pine for four years he’s providing the school with far, far more value than it costs them to cover his tuition.


  4. gastr1

    Even if they are taxed, uh…really, that would stop someone? I know the first thing I think about re: my job is not that I’d be better off not having it because the taxes outweigh the income somehow. Absurd.


    • ChiliDawg

      Imagine being told you don’t REALLY want a raise because “you’ll have to pay more in taxes.”


  5. 3rdandGrantham

    This reminds me of my first job out of college and an event I will never forget. I was in sales and the sales force itself was quite young, with most of us being under 30 if not fresh out of college. With that said, the majority of the team was talented and doing quite well – all while smashing their yearly quota. However, suddenly in mid December new management was brought in who were both arrogant and clueless at the same time; even so we all were shocked to find that not only were our base salaries decreased, but our quotas and commission structures were restructured so that it would be almost impossible to make anywhere near the same income the following year.

    At first they tried to convince us that everything was great and this ‘plan’ would benefit us in the long run, but after constant uproar the new VP of sales huddled all of us in a room, and stood up front and told us that he was looking out for our best interest, as we shouldn’t dare want to move to a higher tax bracket and pay more in taxes that we already were. Six months later about half the sales team bolted for greener pastures – myself included – and not long after that the VP was shown the door.

    Long story short – Jim Harbaugh is that exact same guy.


    • Charlottedawg

      The older (and more cynical) I get the more lines automatically set off my bullshit detector. “I’m looking out for your best interests” is a staple that is rarely if ever wrong in identitying the speaker as completely full of shit.



    Payer play fascinates….oh hell, I forgot what I was going to say…


  7. Cosmic Dawg

    “Oh, and remember to make enough of a contribution on the field so that you don’t get to the point you have to seek a transfer”

    Good post, wish the Dawgs still had the high ground on this particular point.


  8. Got Cowdog

    I was going to say something like “paying more in taxes isn’t a deterrent to making more money” or something else stupidly obvious. But……..,
    I’ll take Harbaugh’s concern at face value. It’s nice to know he’s is looking out for the kids like that.


  9. W Cobb Dawg

    While coaches like Harbaugh are busy pontificating, Kirby was landing a graduate defensive lineman and punter.


  10. Debby Balcer

    40% tax bracket for $40,000. No way that ever happens but even if it was true they would have $24000 to spend.


  11. AusDawg85

    Hey Jim…why not give the players the same sweet split-dollar life insurance benefit you got? Very low tax cost to players on all that deferred income and they could even give a piece of the ultimate death benefit proceeds to the program. Waiting for your call….


  12. S

    Given that Congress almost made grad school tuition waivers taxable income in their “tax reform” bill, the idea that they could tax athletic tuition waivers isn’t terribly unreasonable.


    • Spur 21

      Certainly plausible given the fluster cuck congress has become.


    • Mayor

      The taxation issue is actually a legitimate question. I guarantee that the IRS would want/expect college players to pay taxes on cash they were paid by the schools, plus the schools would have to withhold and send in quarterly to the IRS. A couple hundred dollars a month can be finessed like an allowance. $30K, $40K, $50K being paid to several thousand guys–no way that gets past the government.