Collegiate Athletics & Esports
Count on Baker Tilly for your accounting, compliance and advisory needs. Our collegiate athletics assurance and advisory team has helped more than 20 athletic departments from Division I, II and III schools address challenges in an ever-changing environment with a focus on supporting student athletes, the coaching staff and the institution’s overall mission.
Collegiate athletics has a broader impact than on the field and court. Sports are a tremendous driver of the student experience – and impact the university’s recruitment and enrollment, diversity, equity and inclusion, alumni and donor support, scholarships, endowments, community engagement and regulatory compliance – which all effect your bottom line. Managing a team goes further than just managing the team. There are financial obligations and organizational considerations, like ticketing and merchandise, media rights and opportunities and travel and game day expenses.
Effective July 1, 2021, the three divisions of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) enacted an interim policy suspending previous name, image, and likeness (NIL) rules. While the NCAA continues to work with the federal government on a more permanent and uniform solution, student athletes are now able to profit from their name, image and likeness, subject to state law. Division I, II and III colleges and universities of all sizes will be impacted by the recent NIL changes.
According to a recent IRS memo, many organizations offering paid opportunities for college athletes to use their name, image and likeness (NIL) may not qualify for tax exemptions. Partner Larry Mohr discusses considerations for institutions that have exempt status or are considering seeking one.
In response to the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) memo classifying some college athletes as employees, Principal Adrienne Larmett shares how this new guidance adds complexity for colleges and universities as they work to comply with and operationalize NIL rules.
Institutions considering adding (or enhancing) an esports program to your athletic department can lean on Baker Tilly’s experienced professionals to develop a strategic plan to meet the growing student interest and revenue opportunities in esports. We assess your current programs to build a solid esports framework on your campus.
“We have utilized Baker Tilly for our NCAA agreed-upon procedures engagement for a number of years. Over this time, the team at Baker Tilly has always been remarkably friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable. Most importantly, they truly approach our engagement in a collaborative fashion and make every effort to work with us to achieve our desired objectives.”– Ryan Varley, Associate Athletic Director of Business Services, University of Pittsburgh (Division I Atlantic Coast Conference university)
“The Baker Tilly team is smart and business savvy. They truly know the university environment and approach their work to gain clients’ respect and confidence.”– Director of Risk Management of a Division I private institution
Universities that do not comply with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Department of Education (ED) rules (e.g., Title IX) risk probation and fines, forfeits of games and loss of financial aid and scholarships. On nearly two dozen engagements, Baker Tilly’s athletics-focused internal audits and risk consulting services have helped universities avoid such outcomes while strengthening controls, processes, policies and procedures.
We have worked directly with the NCAA to create conformity between the agreed-upon procedures and auditing standards. By helping shape the reporting requirements of the NCAA agreed-upon procedures, we have a privileged understanding of what is expected of member institutions, giving you peace of mind that our work is thorough and efficient.
We’ve served the diverse needs of more than 100 NCAA Division I and II clients well beyond compliance audits:
Collaborating with the business office, we serve the accounting, tax and advisory needs of public and private institutions of all sizes, providing comprehensive, data-driven solutions to address fiscal resiliency, academic integrity, risk management, research compliance, cybersecurity, talent management, fraud, cost reduction and other strategic, financial and operational issues.
“Our internal audit seamlessly collaborated with Baker Tilly’s higher education specialists to review and evaluate the athletic business office’s internal controls, focusing on budgeting, expense management and performance commitments.”– Chief Audit Executive of a Division I Atlantic Coast Conference university
“I’ve worked with a number of consultants with the ‘we’re going to save you’ attitude but with Baker Tilly, the approach was ‘we’re in this with you and will work it out.’ All of their actions and communications were very clear.”– Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Administration of a Division I Big West Conference university