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Wednesday, February 22, 2017
How To Pay College Athletes Without Taxing Their Scholarships (UPDATED LINK)

In recent years, many opponents to paying college athletes including U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R - N.C.) have proclaimed that paying college athletes would cause athletes to lose the tax-exempt status of their scholarships.  This argument, while scary to "pay for play" advocates, is not necessarily accurate.

In a forthcoming law review article in Boston College Law Review entitled "For Student-Athletes to Employee Athletes: Why a 'Pay for Play' Model of College Sports Would Not Necessarily Make Educational Scholarships Taxable," I explain why a "pay for play" model for college sports would not necessarily require college athletes to pay taxes on their educational scholarships.  While previous literature on this topic have considered this issue exclusively under Section 117 of the tax code (qualified scholarship exemptions), this article looks at five separate tax code sections and poses numerous different ways that colleges could conceivably maintain the tax-exempt status of paid college athletes' scholarships.

I would encourage those interested in college athletics, education law, tax law, and the college athletes rights movement to read this article.  All feedback is encouraged.


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