College athletic administrators are worried that proposed reforms in the House’s tax bill, which passed Thursday, will have major effects on their programs’ funding.
Colleges across the country rely on fans to make substantial donations before they purchase season tickets for premium seats and as a result, athletic programs can give their customers a nice tax break.
“If that deduction goes away, what you will see is a dramatic sea change in the college sports landscape,” said Duke athletic director Kevin White, per ESPN.com. “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.”
With section 1306 of the bill, tax deductions on charitable donations related to tickets would come to an end. The donations often bring in more money than the tickets themselves for college sports, and many athletic administrators are concerned that without the tax break, consumers will simply stop making donations.
“We take in $50 million to $65 million a year in donations related to tickets,” said LSU athletic director Joe Alleva. “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.”