Taking the Student Out of Student Athlete: College Sports and the Unrelated Business Income Tax

Posted: 24 Jul 2014

See all articles by Erik M. Jensen

Erik M. Jensen

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Date Written: July 2014

Abstract

A recent decision by a National Labor Relations Board regional director, concluding that football players at Northwestern University are employees for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act, could have spillover effects in tax law. This article considers whether severing the connection between participation in athletics and the educational function of a university — i.e., ending the pretense that athletes are student athletes — could lead to imposition of the unrelated business income tax (UBIT) on the net revenue of some intercollegiate teams at big-time athletic colleges.

Keywords: student athlete, unrelated business income tax (UBIT), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), unrelated business, taxable activity

JEL Classification: K34

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Erik M., Taking the Student Out of Student Athlete: College Sports and the Unrelated Business Income Tax (July 2014). Journal Taxation of Investments, Forthcoming; Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2469946

Erik M. Jensen (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-3613 (Phone)
216-368-2086 (Fax)

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