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Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Executive Compensation and Professional Sports

Paul Caron (TaxProf) and Verity Winship (guesting at Prawfs) both discuss recent efforts by the NFL to avoid federal rules requiring not-for-profit organizations to disclose all executives earning in excess of $ 150,000. The New York Times story on the NFL is here. The NFL follows in the footsteps of Major League Baseball's in failing to disclose salaries for anyone other than the commissioner. The leagues apparently want to argue that they are trade associations, not charities, thus not subject to the new rules. Failing that, the NFL is lobbying Congress for an exemption from the new disclosure requirements.'Brian Galle at Prawfs weighs in on some of political issues underlying the federal rule requiring this disclosure and the leagues' resistance to it.

The Times feature includes the following:

Joe Browne, the N.F.L.’s executive vice president for communications and public affairs, said league lobbyists had not yet found a Congressional sponsor for their proposal.

“I’ve been here 40 years,” Browne said. “I finally get to the point where I’m making 150 grand, and they want to put my name and address on the form so the lawyer next door who makes a million dollars a year can laugh at me.”

Pretty clever rhetorical device by Mr. Browne--picking on an unpopular group, lawyers, who typically are not the ones making huge sums of money. Note that he did not say the investment banker or the for-profit corporate VP, both of whom make substantially more than the typical lawyer.


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