The taxing business of playing pro sports: Athletes in NFL, NBA and MLB will pay whopping $3 billion to IRS this year

Complete story featured on The Fields of Green, a sports business collaboration between USC Marshall School of Business and USA TODAY Sports

Apr 15, 2014, 14:00 ET from USA TODAY Sports Media Group

LOS ANGELES, April 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Professional athletes in the three most popular U.S. leagues—the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball—will collectively pay the IRS more than $3 billion in taxes this year, according to a report by USC Sports Business Institute Executive Director David Carter.

The report is published today on The Fields of Green (http:/, a new collaborative sports business platform created by the Sports Business Institute, part of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, and the USA TODAY Sports Media Group. The Fields of Green will produce daily content covering the business of sports, as well as vital analysis of breaking news, current events and ongoing topics in the sports industry through curated blog posts, original columns and multimedia.

The first article published on The Fields of Green  reveals the staggering 2013 federal tax dollars MLB, NFL and NBA players forked over to the IRS by today: 

Such a whopping tax bill, of course, is the result of huge earnings: The approximately 3,000 players in those three pro sports were paid nearly $9 billion in 2013 – making their average earnings $3 million and average tax bill $1 million.

With contributors including C-level executives across the industry and experts in the field, The Fields of Green will profile the convergence of sports and entertainment as well as the latest media trends, emerging technologies, new venues, sponsorship deals and marketing campaigns impacting the sports world.

"We are so pleased to be working with the USA TODAY Sports Media Group," said Carter. "The Fields of Green brings something completely new to the table: timely, incisive analysis of issues in sports from a business perspective. It's a consumer niche that no one else is filling, and a tremendous opportunity to shed light for fans on the developments driving the sports business industry today."

Housed at USC Marshall, the Sports Business Institute is a multi-faceted center focused on understanding and furthering the sports business industry primarily through applied research, student-led consulting assignments and sports business events. In addition to providing comprehensive global analysis of the industry, the Institute develops future industry leaders through its research and strategic partnerships.

"The Fields of Green will leverage our position as the top source of sports news and information in the country to expose a broad audience to the Sports Business Institute's cutting-edge insight and seasoned analysis," said Dave Morgan, president of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group. "The synergies between us make our two organizations a solid match."

Built on the USA TODAY Sports Media Group's unique ability to deliver the necessary platform and key administrative, technology and sales functions, The Fields of Green will rely on the Sports Business Institute to populate its content, which will also feature longer, in-depth pieces examining relevant issues from multiple vantage points.

"The breadth of expertise represented by both the Sports Business Institute and the USA TODAY Sports Media Group is impressive," said James G. Ellis, Dean of the USC Marshall School of Business. "By joining forces to create The Fields of Green, these organizations will continue to redefine the sports business landscape, both nationally and globally."

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.

About the USA TODAY Sports Media Group:
The USA TODAY Sports Media Group encompasses all sports initiatives across USA TODAY Sports and Gannett's more than 120 well-known local media brands. It also includes the sports photography wire service USA TODAY Sports Images; leading high school sports destination  USA TODAY High School Sports; Sports On Earth, a joint venture with MLB Advanced Media dedicated to great sports writing in all its forms; the social news hub For The Win, and the hundreds of sites within USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties such as and mixed martial arts site, among others. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).

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SOURCE USA TODAY Sports Media Group