It happens every year, briefly and usually around Super Bowl time. That’s when the matter of the NFL’s tax-exempt status percolates to the surface, generally as a result of all the outrageous things that the NFL demands from whatever city is lucky enough to host the Super Bowl that year, and which kind of idly enrage those so-inclined. Most states exempt 501(c)6 non-profit organizations — trade groups, ordinarily, like the Chamber of Commerce or National Beef Council — from state income and sales tax, and the NFL is classified as such. The NFL also pays no federal corporate taxes.
This tends to offend, especially given the NFL’s notable dedication to profit and power above just about everything else; it also violates the spirit of the law, as Slate’s Jordan Weissmann points out, because the NFL is more like a closed cartel than an industry organization. And offend it does, generally for that one week in January. And then things roll on for another 50 or so weeks, more or less as it has since Congress first granted the NFL 501(c)6 status back in 1966.
With 20 returning starters, per Steele, Syracuse leads the country. Basically the entire defense is coming back, with 93 percent of the unit’s production returning. You should trust Dino Babers to coach up the offense, so not having to replace cogs on defense is huge.
NC State and Florida State rank highly as well, Clemson only needs to effectively replace Deshaun Watson to again be considered a contender, and Louisville returns the Heisman Trophy winner, so the ACC Atlantic again looks stacked.
The fourth-time head coach doesn’t inherit an especially talented Conference USA roster, but he does have experience to work with. The Owls rank in the top four in both Steele’s and Connelly’s numbers, and they just brought in their top-ranked recruiting class ever, the best in C-USA. It includes five three-star JUCOs, meaning lots of potential for instant impact.