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

Author:  Erik M. Jensen.

Source: Volume 31, Number 04, Summer 2014 , pp.29-46(18)

Journal of Taxation of Investments

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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: unrelated business income tax (UBIT); college athletics; student athlete; National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

Affiliations:  1: Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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