Tax attorneys and policy wonks, get your roll on, since your worlds and college football have collided in one grand story: the request by the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Chair Bill Watson to justify the tax-exempt status of the NCAA.
Devil Grad's all over this like gravy on Fulmer, since it's right in his wheelhouse. The gist of the conflict comes from the same question we asked Myles Brand via the NCAA's podcast, Mondays With Myles: what the hell does the NCAA actually do? Besides loan out its name to lucrative tournaments and pay its chief executive $800K a year?
Having a bit of experience with non-profits, we can safely say that paying your chief executive that kind of dough will get your ass audited right fast no matter who you claim to be. It's worse when the inquisitive party here is the chair of the Ways and Means Committee, who if you don't know is a powerful party capable of crushing windpipes from millions of miles away with his mind and likes to idle away slow afternoons by firing lightning bolts from his fingers at hapless interns. He is retiring at the conclusion of the Congress, but the decision of a legislative majordomo to "fire a shot across the bow" of the NCAA can hardly be brushed off in as leisurely a fashion as Gary Roberts does in USA Today. It's a policy decision that will get you in the newspapers and take shots at an organization that is:
b. Vaguely purposed.
c. Quite profitable.
Sounds like easy and instant political capital to us, a veritable crying baby antelope with a broken leg surrounded by a pack of creeping lions on the Serengeti.
Green eyeshade? Check. Statutes log? Check. Double cappucino with skim? Roger.