Coach Killers or Creditors: Player Salaries as Debt

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Long-term, large-dollar, guaranteed player contracts share many characteristics with debt obligations and the tax code, accounting standards, and league policy have recognized this implicitly in different ways over the past seven decades. Similarly, certain players have exerted tremendous influence over management decisions, which arguably amounts to a tacit acknowledgment of these players as de facto providers of capital as well as labor. Despite this reality, this sort of behavior is met with near-universal criticism. This talk attempts to apply a more robust corporate governance framework that appropriately legitimizes players’ roles as stakeholders in team management.

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