… who doesn’t understand the nature of university football sounds off. This one’s from the University of Michigan. Says he feels like a ripped-off fool. Says a lot of things. Read them all. Here’s a sample:

When Bill Martin reluctantly accepted the job of [University of Michigan] athletic director in 2000, he insisted he be paid a dollar his first year, and his second, before agreeing in his third year to the middling rate of about $300,000. … Martin had become a multi-millionaire businessman, and didn’t want to be a burden to his alma mater. He later turned down the president’s offer to double his salary, and declined all bonuses …

His successor, Dave Brandon, served as the CEO for two Fortune 500 companies, and is worth well over $100 million. His salary at Michigan is fast approaching a million dollars, including bonuses. For the first time in Michigan’s long history, the athletic director makes more than the president.

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6 Responses to “Yet another malcontent…”

  1. david foster Says:

    “A “seat license” is a fee that teams make their fans pay just to reserve the right to buy the actual tickets. They call it a donation – which is a stretch, since every fan apparently decided to donate exactly the same amount, or lose our tickets. But that allows us to claim it as a gift to a state university, and a tax deduction.”

    I don’t understand why this would not be tax fraud. Charitable contributions are supposed to be deductible only to the extent that no valuable goods/services were provided to the giver in consideration of the gift. This is normally stated on the receipt…for example, the receipt for my donation to the MIT D-Lab (technology for poor countries) contained the following line:

    “This email serves as your acknowledgment for income tax purposes in conformance with current IRS regulations. We confirm that neither goods nor services were given to you by MIT in exchange for this gift.”

    So how do universities get away with selling “seat licenses,” which obviously provide a service, as something tax-deductible?

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    david: Ask all the boys in Congress.

  3. david foster Says:

    Is there specific legislation that exempts this sort of thing, or has the IRS simply chosen not to bring any cases?

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    http://www.nonprofitquarterly.org/policysocial-context/21269-is-tax-incentive-for-college-football-season-ticket-holders-fair.html

  5. david foster Says:

    Thanks…that certainly explains the history here.

    Now, I wonder about the deductibility of alumni contributions that serve partly as implicit bribes to get their kids over the threshold of admissions…seems like some issues have been raised about this recently.

  6. Jack/OH Says:

    david foster, man, you said it: ” . . . the deductibility of alumni contributions that serve partly as implicit bribes . . .”. Not just their own kids, either, if some of the reports I’ve heard have reached a reasonable level of plausibility.

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