Terrelle Pryor’s next set of problems could come from the IRS

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Setting aside all personal feelings regarding whether colleges should give their football players fair compensation above and beyond the far-less-than-retail cost of a free education (I think they should) and whether players who aren’t getting paid whenever everyone else connected to the process is getting paid should take whatever they can get (again, I think they should), 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 after the fact precisely why he didn’t get his cut.

Perhaps that’s the best reason for the NCAA potentially revising its rules to reflect reality, and setting up (for example) an Olympics-style system that allows “amateur” players to make money via sponsors or autographs, and that ensures all associated taxes are paid.  The current system, in which the NCAA keeps its head in the sand or a far less sanitary personal orifice until someone in the media generates evidence that players are indeed getting paid, easily 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 part by his desire to cut off the NCAA’s effort to generate the kind 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 possible demise of possibly the best football program in the state, including the two NFL teams that reside there.  Indeed, Pryor’s lawyer made it crystal clear during 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 done,” lawyer Larry James said.

“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 said.

“Why is that?”

“Well he’s no longer subject to the NCAA rules since 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 think that he’s already answered the questions more than a couple times,” James said, “but these new things that are coming out of the blue, no he will not.”

And if Pryor doesn’t talk about “these new things that are coming out of the blue,” the chances of the IRS getting involved will be minimized, since no evidence of any green flowing from the things coming out of the blue would be documented.

Then again, it may be too late for that.  Even though Pryor is now beyond the jurisdiction of the NCAA, he’s not beyond the long arm of Uncle Sam.  That’s why Larry James should be advising Pryor to strongly consider 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.

23 responses to “Terrelle Pryor’s next set of problems could come from the IRS

  1. ” The current system, in which the NCAA keeps its head in the sand or a far less sanitary personal orifice until someone in the media generates evidence that players are indeed getting paid…”

    Reading this line while drinking coffee caused me to almost choke. Well worth it, though.

  2. I guess in theory…OSU is an NFL team, but last time i checked it was a college team……Why do i keep reading about a college team/player on an NFL site?

  3. 500+ word blog post, summed up by yours truely in 11:

    “Pryor should pay his taxes or he might get in trouble”

    You’re welcome.

  4. Don’t have a dog in the fight, but everybody in Ohio had better stop with the backlash.

    Just as Pryor has no reason to move forward the investigation right now, he also has nothing stopping him from getting fed up and telling them EVERYTHING.

  5. The unaddressed problem of “paying players” is the fact that not all schools make hordes of cash from football. In fact, many operate at a net loss. Requiring any type of payment to players (outside of what they get for scholarships and meal stipends on the road – which they currently get) would shut down many programs.

    The media seems to think that all football programs make the millions that only the elite programs make.

  6. Yeah Pryor, you better pay that $4500 in taxes you probably avoided paying. That’ll really put a dent in the federal deficit.

  7. So, sink your schools reputation, cost the coach his job, risk a “death penalty” sanction…but, hey, no, I have no responsibility.


  8. This sounds like a witch hunt , which is no surprise. There is such a double standard.
    Did anyone check to see how the quarterback for Alabama drove a range rover and how he paid for dinner for his offences line? I thought not.
    Looks to me like your scapegoat got away and will live happily ever after. Good last run TP …. Touchdown!

  9. Mike, your a lawyer, have you heard of Title IX? The schools would have to pay womens golf, tennis, swimming etc as well as the mens non revenue teams.

  10. No reason for colleges to pay athletes. If a guy wants to get paid play in the UFL or CFL for 3 years after high school. Getting some of the nations top HS recruits could help grow the UFL.

  11. lostsok says:
    Jun 10, 2011 10:29 AM
    So, sink your schools reputation, cost the coach his job, risk a “death penalty” sanction…but, hey, no, I have no responsibility.



    I know characteer doen not always mean much in the NFL – looking at you Titans draft picks for the last decade- but every day this guy has got to be sending red flags to NFL personnel.

    Do you want someone who is willing to destroy a program to appease his need for bling? Do you want someone who is going to not take responsibility for his actions? Do you want somebody who is bringing who knows how many “handlers” with him to the bigs?

    It seems to me, and I am in no way an NFL team employee, that owning his role in all of this would be far better for him than not. Mallet came at his question marks head on before the draft and I think that helped allay some of those fears that were out there about him. TP’s actions, to me at least, are doing nothing but increasing the question marks about him.

    I haven’t even mentioned his questionable throwing motion, or the fact that teammates are coming out and slamming his me first attitude. All I know is there is no way in hell the Steelers grab him and I am fine with that.

  12. I would just go to a tax guy & immediately file an updated return paying for the income received. The Fed typically just wants their money & if they get it, they’ll leave you alone.

  13. Hopefully he goes to jail.
    OSU gets the Death Penalty
    Tressel is unable to ever coach again
    Their obnoxious, excuse making fans get ridiculed daily

    Thats all for now

  14. My daughter received a scholarship from the company I worked for and it was considered income for me.

    Are scholarships, grants, etc, not considered income?

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