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SOURCE Saint Leo University Polling Institute
SAINT LEO, Fla., June 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- By a three-to-one margin, most Americans oppose paying college athletes, according to a new national survey conducted by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute. The survey comes as a U.S. Federal Court in California hears arguments in a class action suit brought by former UCLA star Ed O'Bannon, and after Northwestern University football players conducted a vote to be recognized by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as a union (results of the vote have not been released).
When asked to think about college athletics and the money generated from major men's football and basketball programs, 66 percent of respondents said athletic scholarships and an opportunity to earn a college degree for free was fair compensation and they should not be paid. Conversely, 21 percent responded that college athletes do deserve to be paid for the time they spend practicing, traveling and playing, above and beyond the value of any scholarships they might receive.
"It is inevitable that some Division I student-athletes will soon receive additional compensation above their current grant-in-aid awards," said Phil Hatlem, instructor of sport business at Saint Leo University. "However, there are many aspects still to be determined, including who will receive additional compensation – all full-scholarship student-athletes or only those in 'revenue producing' sports? – and in what form that compensation will be – a monthly cash stipend or something else?"
"Like the Olympics, which were once so strongly against any form of payment for athletic endeavors that Jim Thorpe was stripped of his track and field medals simply for having played semi-pro baseball, but now allow professional athletes to compete, college athletics will adjust," continued Hatlem. "Yet the NCAA leadership is intent on maintaining their current structure. It will be interesting to see whether we will recognize college athletics in a few years as we know it today," Hatlem concluded.
This Saint Leo University national poll of 1,016 people, including 802 likely voters, was conducted between May 28 and June 4, 2014. The margin of error is approximately three percent +/- with a 95 percent confidence level.
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