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Americans Weigh In on NCAA and College Basketball
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NCAA BasketballOne In Three Thinks Players Shave Points in College Basketball

Half Think Most Colleges Break Recruiting Rules; 77% Want Coaches More Tightly Controlled

Nearly one in three Americans feels that college basketball players intentionally influence the outcomes of games because of gambling interests, according to a Seton Hall Spots Poll conducted week of March 18.

The question is asked annually by the Poll during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, and the 30% "yes" response is the highest it has registered. In asking the same question in the previous three years, the yes response ranged from 23% to 28%.

In addition, 46% said they felt that most, or almost all college basketball programs break recruiting rules, and 48% feel that college athletes should not be permitted to go pro until their class graduates.

The poll was conducted among 701 randomly dialed adults throughout the US (including cellphone users) and has a +/- 3.8% margin of error.

"While these responses do not reflect solid majorities, there is a significant perception that college sports is very much flawed," noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is conducted by the Sharkey Institute. "The numbers remain consistent, and this is an issue that really should be addressed by the NCAA and college conferences. Imagine if 30% of fans thought pro sports were rigged. There would be outrage."

Asked if basketball and football coaches should be more tightly supervised by their universities, 77% said yes and only 16% said no. The 77% figure matched last year's finding.

"This is an era of coaches making millions," added Gentile. "Some of them seem to leave their schools with penalties imposed while they move onto greener pastures."

Some think this wealth should be shared. Twenty-five percent think student athletes should be paid a salary (in addition to their scholarships) when competing in revenue producing sports, while 71% said they should not.

For more information please contact:
Rick Gentile
(973) 761-7723


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