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Seton Hall Sports Poll Finds Support For Student/Athlete Benefits Apart From Salaries
Seton Hall > News & Events 

Student AthletesFindings at Same Time as Yesterday’s NLRB Ruling Re: Northwestern

Americans show support for benefits to student/athletes apart from adding salaries to scholarships, according to a poll conducted this week by the Seton Hall Sports Poll.

While only 29% support the addition of salaries (vs. 66% opposing), the findings also showed that 45% said the athletes should receive additional spending money, (49% said no), that 36% said that athletes should receive medical benefits after they graduate, (57% said no), and that 42% said athletes should receive free post-graduate education at their university (49% said no).

The poll, conducted this week, comes at the same time as the ruling yesterday by the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago that Northwestern University football players were employees of the school, with a right to form a union and enter into collective bargaining.

While there is a trend toward salaries - those favoring a salary are up 4% from last year and 8% from 2007, when respondents were asked a similar question, the overwhelming majority favor the status quo.

The poll of 665 respondents (with a 3.9% margin of error), was based on random phone calls to landlines and cellphones across the U.S. between March 24-26.

"Given that there has not been much discussion of these issues, there appears to be the potential for public support for some increase in benefits over and above scholarships", noted veteran pollster Murray Edelman, Ph.D., a consultant to the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is conducted by The Sharkey Institute.

Respondents Favor Two Years Of College Before Turning Pro

On the question of how many years a college basketball player must stay in school before being eligible for the NBA draft, 54% supported Commissioner Adam Silver’s proposal to increase the minimum age for eligibility from 19 to 20 (in effect, two years), with 19% supporting one year, and 18% supporting no limits. 73% felt that requiring another year of school is a good thing for the student/athletes, even if they lose a year of a pro salary. (21% responded no).

"Commissioner Silver's proposal hits at a wide sentiment towards staying in school," said Edelman.

NCAA Tournament Questions

While half the respondents have watched coverage of this year's NCAA Basketball Tournament (49% yes, 51% no), only 14% filled out a set of brackets for the tournament, and only 7% said they participated in pools involving money.

52% prefer to watch a competitive game between two high seed teams, with 33% opting for an upset by a low seeded team over a highly seeded team.

For more information please contact:
Rick Gentile
(973) 313-6201


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