Football, Sports, Tax Law

How to Take Down the BCS? The Same Way We Got Capone: Tax Law

I have friends who support the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) as an effective non-playoff means for determining the national champion of college football. These friends say that the BCS preserves the sanctity of the college football season (“Every game is a playoff”). They say it gives power conferences (like the Southeastern Confederacy and the Big Oil Alumni conferences) their due for their consistently tough conference schedules. And they say (somewhat counter-intuitively but almost certainly true) that a playoff system favors the team that gets hot at the right time, not the team that was the best in college football over the course of the season. They don’t say that the current system is perfect, but they don’t view a playoff as inherently better just because the champion will be decided “on the field” after a tournament.

Of course, these friends are elitist, anti-competitive pricks who support BCS teams and use their lawyer skills to avoid punishment from bar fights they start when their teams get their asses kicked.

Me, I’m a man of the people. Okay, not really. But I am a man who stands against the ridiculous accumulation of wealth by a cherished few. The BCS is just a huge pot of money that only a few conferences and athletic directors have access to. And as long as multimillion-dollar boondoggles are being thrown around, I think everybody should have a shot at getting in on the action.

Of course, it’s really hard to get rich people to give up some of their money for the greater good of a larger community. They won’t do it willingly. Thankfully, this is why God invented tax law. Our brother-from-another-mother, Caleb Newquist of Going Concern, explains how a political action committee is trying to use the tax code to stop the BCS….

The Associated Press reports that a political action committee known as Playoff PAC is hoping to find tax irregularities with the BCS:

A team of six lawyers and one accountant, working for no compensation, reviewed 2,300 pages of tax returns and public documents associated with all four bowls, said Playoff PAC co-founder Matthew Sanderson. The Pasadena, Calif.-based Rose Bowl was found to be “fairly free of these irregularities,” Sanderson said.

Here’s the full Playoff PAC complaint.

So far, Playoff PAC has found some “extravagant” salaries for some of the CEOs of the BCS bowl games. And they’re poking around to make sure those captains of football industry are on the up-and-up when it comes to golf outings and other perks.

Caleb is unimpressed:

Using the tax law to break the iron grip that the BCS overlords have on the sport may be the right approach but Playoff PAC is going to need a much more convincing case then some exorbitant salaries, a few rounds of golf and big catering spreads. “IT’S DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL!” after all; it’s not for amateurs (except for the players, of course).

At least they’re trying. If people like my friends have their way, the only reason a school like Boise State will even exist is as a training for future BCS coaches. I object to their efforts to turn college football into Major League Baseball.

Read additional discussion of the tax implications of Playoff PAC at Going Concern.

Anti-BCS Group Sics IRS on Bowl Games Over Tax-Exempt Status [Going Concern]
AP Exclusive: Tax status of bowl games challenged [Associated Press]

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