Sugar Bowl violates tax laws

Ohio State University players celebrate after their team defeated the University of Arkansas during the NCAA BCS Allstate Sugar Bowl football game in New Orleans, Louisiana January, 4, 2011. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)

The mess in college football keeps piling up. Real Sports on HBO has a new expose on how the “nonprofit” college bowls spend money like drunken sailors entertaining conference and school officials. We’ll have more on that later.

In the meantime, one of the disclosures from Real Sports involved improper expenditures by the Sugar Bowl for campaign purposes, something that violates tax laws given their nonprofit status.

An HBO “Real Sports” investigation has prompted the Allstate Sugar Bowl to self-report tax law violations it committed by purchasing three $1,000 tickets to fundraisers for then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco in 2004 and 2006.

Under its non-profit charter, the bowl is not allowed to contribute to political campaigns, and such actions also are against bowl policy, according to a release from the bowl.

At the time of the fundraisers, the Sugar Bowl was receiving approximately $1 million annually from the state as a “cooperative endeavor” that helped fund team payouts. The arrangement, which predated Blanco’s term, was rescinded two years ago at the Sugar Bowl’s request.

The release also stated that the money has been refunded from Blanco and those funds have been donated to the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete fund.

Chief Executive Officer Paul Hoolahan and current bowl president Lance Alfrick declined to elaborate beyond the release, but immediate past president Dave Melius called the violation “an accident.”

“Obviously, nobody had any idea,” Melius said. “You have to understand we have an organization with about a $14 million budget, and we’re spending $14 million a year in about a zillion different ways on a lot of things we’re supporting. There are thousands of checks written, and one check goes out that didn’t go through the correct process.”

This is the same Sugar Bowl that lobbied to have 5 suspended Ohio State players be permitted to play in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.

It’s becoming clear that the “nonprofit” status of these bowls is a complete fraud. They don’t care about college kids – they simply care about money. It will be interesting to see where that $14 million is really going as we get more scrutiny of this corrupt bowl system.

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College football bowls: A reason to watch them all

Bowl season is upon us, which is a good and sad thing all at once.

It’s good because we get football on a lot of days that we normally wouldn’t get football. And it’s unpredictable football, at that, where games that look like complete mismatches could be close just because one team decided not to show up.

It’s sad because it means college football is about to be over, and we have a very large, nine-month void in our lives that’s about to start. You could create and have a child in the span between the national title game and the next year’s season opener (coincidentally, most non-human mammals can create and have babies in the span between the final regular-season games and the title game. You’re just going to have to trust me on that one).

I know that you’re looking at some of these games and thinking they’re completely pointless, and you‘re right. You’re probably also thinking that there is no reason to watch some of these games. Well on that one, you’re wrong. There’s at least one reason to watch every one of the 30 non-BCS Bowl games (the BCS games speak for themselves. Yes, even Oklahoma vs. Uconn. Well, maybe not. But we’ll talk about those later.) and I’m here to give you those reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

Iowa’s Shonn Greene declares for NFL Draft

Thanks in large part to Shonn Greene’s three touchdowns, the Iowa Hawkeyes dominated South Carolina 31-10 in Thursday’s Outback Bowl. The win will be the last one for Greene in a Hawkeye uniform, because the 2008 Doak Walker Award winner has decided to forgo his senior season at Iowa and enter the NFL draft.

Built ideally at 5’11/235, Greene took home the Doak Walker Award in 2008 and eclipsed 100 rushing yards in every game as a junior to set the school’s single-season record with 1,850 on 307 carries. Having started for one season at Iowa, Greene has fresh legs and late first-round pick potential for next April’s draft. Springs workouts will be key for Greene because he is not known as a burner. He also has very little experience as a pass catcher.

NFL teams would be wise not to judge Grenne mostly on his 40-time because this kid can flat out play. He’s a strong runner and depending on his draft status, he’ll likely be a steal for a team come April. He would have definitely been one of the leading candidates to win the Heisman had he returned for his senior season.

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