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Volume 24 No. 219
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College ADs Miffed Over Proposed House Bill That Could Severely Impair Sports Funding

A group of college administrators said that they are "extremely concerned that a proposed measure" in the House of Repreentative's tax bill that passed on Thursday will "greatly impair college sports funding," according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. The proposed measure would "cut deductions associated with charitable contributions for tickets." Multiple ADs said that not allowing fans to "deduct for donations that give them the right to buy tickets would immediately cost college programs hundreds of millions of dollars." Duke AD Kevin White said, "If that deduction goes away, what you will see is a dramatic sea change in the college sports landscape. We need to put speed bumps up now to slow this thing down, because I don't think the politicians have any idea how much this will pull apart our system." Rovell noted athletic departments for years have "relied on donations associated with season tickets to fuel their budgets." While the price of the season tickets themselves are "not tax deductible, fans have been able to write off up to" 80% of the donation that was "required to buy those tickets, a fact that has been heavily marketed by the programs themselves." LSU AD Joe Alleva: "We take in $50 million to $65 million a year in donations related to tickets. If even 10 percent of people say, 'We're not going to do that anymore,' that's at least $5 million to us. We have no other place to make that money up." White also said that losing season-ticket donations "could immediately affect scholarships in Olympic sports." However, U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who authored the bill, said the deduction was not "intended to apply to donations related to season tickets" (ESPN.com, 11/16).