LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva says the elimination of a tax break in the GOP tax reform bills could be disastrous for big-time collegiate athletics. LSU and many other schools require donations to purchase tickets to athletic events and Alleva is concerned those donations will go away, if fans can no longer claim 80% of the donation as a tax deduction.
“I don’t know how schools are going to make up the money if people decide not to make those contributions, it’s a tremendous amount of money.”
Alleva says LSU receives about $50-million from this revenue stream as reportedly 45,000 football season tickets require a donation to the school’s Tradition Fund for the right to purchase those tickets.
“A lot of that money goes to pay for scholarships, we have to pay scholarship costs for every one of our athletes. We pay the university over $16 million a year. If this happens, I don’t see a revenue stream to make up the difference.”
A spokesperson for Congressman Steve Scalise, Lauren Fine, says this House tax proposal will put more money back in the pockets of people in Louisiana, who can choose to spend it how they want, whether it be on football tickets, or anything else. But Alleva is still concerned that fans will no longer make a donation if they know they can’t deduct it on their taxes.
“We would not be able to give any money back to the university and in fact, we’d probably have to rely on the university to give us money to subsidize the program or the worst case scenario, we’d have to drop some sports.”