Setting aside all individual feelings concerning whether or not colleges need to give their football players fair compensation above and beyond the far-less-than-retail cost of a free education (I feel they should) and whether players who aren’t getting paid whenever everybody else connected to the process is acquiring paid should take whatever they can get (once more, I believe they ought to), there’s one important point to keep in mind when it comes to putting that hand out whenever someone wants to put something of value in it.
The tax man eventually will want his cut. Or, even worse, the tax man will want to know soon after the fact precisely why he didn’t get his cut.
Possibly that’s the greatest reason for the NCAA potentially revising its rules to reflect reality, and setting up (for example) an Olympics-style method that permits “amateur” players to make money via sponsors or autographs, and that ensures all associated taxes are paid. The present program, in which the NCAA keeps its head in the sand or a far much less sanitary individual orifice until a person in the media generates evidence that players are indeed obtaining paid, simply could result in proof that the players who have gotten paid have failed to pay their fair share to the IRS and/or the state-level taxing authority.
In the case of Terrelle Pryor, his decision to leave Ohio State possibly was influenced in component by his desire to cut off the NCAA’s effort to generate the type of evidence that would possibly attract the attention of any Columbus-area IRS agents who now possibly hold a grudge against Pryor for contributing to the feasible demise of possibly the best football program in the state, including the two NFL teams that reside there. Indeed, Pryor’s lawyer created it crystal clear in the course of a Thursday appearance on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio that, with Pryor leaving an NCAA-covered institution, Pryor no longer will cooperate with any NCAA investigation.
“As to going forward with the NCAA, he’s completed,” lawyer Larry James stated.
“Completely done?” host Jason Horowitz asked. “He was no responsibility in terms of talking to them, in terms of their investigation with Ohio State?”
“None,” James stated.
“Why is that?”
“Well he’s no longer subject to the NCAA rules because he’s no longer a student-athlete,” James explained.
“And he still doesn’t have to answer questions? He doesn’t feel an obligation to answer questions as to what went on with his role?”
“Well, you know I believe that he’s already answered the questions a lot more than a couple times,” James said, “but these new items that are coming out of the blue, no he will not.”
And if Pryor does not talk about “these new issues that are coming out of the blue,” the chances of the IRS obtaining involved will be minimized, given that no evidence of any green flowing from the issues coming out of the blue would be documented.
Then once again, it may well be too late for that. Even though Pryor is now beyond the jurisdiction of the NCAA, he’s not beyond the lengthy arm of Uncle Sam. That’s why Larry James ought to be advising Pryor to strongly contemplate determining the precise amount of any and all income generated during three years at Ohio State, and to get those taxes and any associated interest or penalties paid, ASAFP.