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Pascrell Releases Report on College Coaching Salaries

Findings show public and private schools lavish massive deals while enjoying federal tax exemptions

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, today released an official committee report detailing the findings of Pascrell’s year-long investigation into exorbitant college coaching contracts given by schools which enjoy federal tax benefits.

“With the college football regular season reaching a dramatic conclusion this weekend, all Americans should be reminded of the enormous scope of exorbitant coaching contracts by so many of these schools,” said Chairman Pascrell. “This official report from the Ways and Means Committee lays out all our findings from the past year into colossal college coaching contracts. Americans should care deeply about these excessive salaries that our federal tax code is helping to fund. These schools and others across our nation are giving hundreds of millions of dollars to coaches while taking federal tax exemption. The answers from the schools lay out, clearly, that universities from coast to coast are not always behaving in the best interests of their students or the American taxpayers.”

Pascrell concluded, “As Congress’s oldest, most storied and powerful committee, it is incumbent upon the Ways and Means Committee to now turn our focus to remedies to our tax code. Universities’ tax-exempt status is an important pillar of our higher education system, but it is not a blank check from taxpayers to dole out gargantuan coaching contracts with lavish benefits. The committee should consider reforming the excise tax on salaries over one million to apply to all colleges and universities. This would close a loophole that may enable some state universities to avoid the tax. It is also worth exploring whether profitable, multimillion dollar college athletics programs should be subject to the Unrelated Business Income Tax. We must consider whether tax-exempt educational activities and lucrative athletics programs should be treated differently. Certainly we can see that American students and American taxpayers deserve better.”

Chairman Pascrell has spent the last year trying to impose sunlight on the awarding of lavish contracts to athletic coaches.

On December 17, 2021, Chairman Pascrell wrote inquiry letters to the Presidents of Louisiana State University and the University of Southern California, asking questions about LSU’s $95,000,000 contract to football coach Brian Kelly and USC’s $110,000,000 pact with football coach Lincoln Riley.

On January 11, 2022, Pascrell wrote inquiry letters to the Presidents of Michigan State University (MSU) and the University of Miami, seeking information about MSU’s $95,000,000 extension to head football coach Mel Tucker, and Miami’s $80,000,000 contract to head football coach Mario Cristobal.

On February 4, 2022, Pascrell wrote inquiry letters to the Presidents of Stanford University and Rutgers University, demanding answers on Stanford’s now former football coach David Shaw’s $9,000,000 salary, and Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano’s $32,000,000 deal.

On March 17, 2022, Pascrell wrote inquiry letters to the Presidents of Duke University, Villanova University, and Auburn University about their massive contracts with basketball coaches Mike Krzyzewski, Jay Wright, and Bruce Pearl.

A copy of the Ways and Means Committee’s findings is available here.

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