News & Events

Seventy Two Percent Support Selig Punishment of A-Rod- or Worse
Seton Hall > News & Events 


An overwhelming majority of Americans who consider themselves sports fans support the 211-game ban on Alex Rodriguez for steroid use - with about half of them saying he should be banned for life.

A Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week, while the Rodriguez appeal before an arbitration panel is being heard, found that 37% want the ban upheld, and an additional 35% would favor having him banned for life. The poll has a 4% margin of error for the 668 respondents who said they followed sports, very closely, closely or not closely. (An additional 279 people who said they did not follow sports participated with additional questions, with a +/- margin of error of 3%.)

The poll was based on random phone calls to landlines and cellphones across the United States.

Although the arbitration hearing calls attention to the steroid problems baseball has dealt with over the last two decades, the legacy of Commissioner Bud Selig appears to be a strong one, as he prepares for what he has said will be his final year in office. 57% of sports fans said he would enjoy a positive or extremely positive legacy, with only 20% saying it would be negative or extremely negative. 24% said they did not know or had no answer.

"It would appear that the continuing appeal of the game under his reign - in attendance, marketing, expanded playoffs, popular new ballparks and more, will override the steroid issue in people’s minds,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “Of course, responses could also be influenced by his battling the very unpopular Rodriguez on the steroid issue."

The poll also asked people about changes in NFL rules intended to reduce injuries. Asked if the changes were right, 18% said they were "too much," 37% said they were the "right amount," and 24% said they were "not enough." But there was a more noticeable shift when broken down between men and women. 27% of men said the rules were “too much,” and only 8% of women agreed. Asked if the attempts to reduce injuries have made the game more or less enjoyable, or had no effect, 14% said more enjoyable, 22% said less, and 52% said it had no effect. However, 31% of men said the game was less enjoyable.

"That's a big percentage - nearly a third of men finding the NFL less enjoyable," said Gentile. "It's a statistic the NFL will want to pay attention to."

All 947 participants were asked for favorable/unfavorable reactions to select athletes in the news. Peyton Manning had a 64% favorable reaction, and his brother Eli had 58%. Tim Tebow had a 46% response. Mariano Rivera had a 38% response. Alex Rodriguez had only a 16% favorable reaction compared to 41% unfavorable.

The poll also asked if the respondent knew where this year's Super Bowl was being played, and 79% did not know that it was in New Jersey/New York. 77% could not name last year’s city (New Orleans). 61% said that professional sports teams improve the image of their city.

See media coverage in Bloomberg BusinessWeek »

For more information please contact:
Rick Gentile
(973) 313-6058


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