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Stillman School of Business

Sports Poll on ‘Image and Likeness’ Money for College Athletes Featured by Media  

Students sitting at computers for sports pollingThe most recent Seton Hall Sports Poll asked the public what it thought about college athletes receiving "image and likeness" endorsement money.

The poll's findings were featured by ESPN, USA Today, Darren Rovell of Action Sports via Twitter (Rovell has 2.1 million followers), CBS Sports, NBC Sports, polling heavyweight FiveThirtyEight, Inside Higher Ed, Football Scoop, MSN, Yahoo Finance, Morning Consult and a number of other media outlets.

The poll found that:

The American public, by an almost 2-1 margin, believes that student athletes should be allowed to profit from the use of their name, likeness or image such as in the endorsement of a product.

Sixty percent endorsed the idea with 32 percent rejecting it. Eight percent said they did not know or had no opinion.

The Poll was conducted among 714 adult Americans across the country, either on landline or cellphone. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percent.

The timing of the Poll coincided with California Governor Gavin Newsom signing a bill that allows college athletes to hire agents and earn endorsement money.

The Poll also found that 59% of respondents said it was a matter the NCAA should oversee, with only 27% saying it should be left to state governments.

Interestingly, when broken down by the age of respondents, 80% of those ages 18-29 supported student/athletes receiving payments, a number that dropped to 50% among those 60 and over.

"The public clearly supports allowing student/athletes to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness but also clearly is supportive of the NCAA, college sports' governing body, to oversee the process," noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business.

While the question of endorsement money has not previously been asked in a Seton Hall Sports Poll, a 2017 poll found that 60% – the same number as supporting endorsement money – said that scholarships were sufficient compensation for college athletes without their receiving pay above that. That number was down from the 71% in 2013 who said scholarships were sufficient.

Seton Hall Sports Poll

Media Sample

ESPN, "NCAA president Mark Emmert calls California law 'new form of professionalism'"

USA Today, "NCAA amateurism model being pushed to change by legislation"

NBC Sports,"Poll: 60% believe college athletes should profit from name, image, likeness"

CBS Sports, "Fair Pay to Play Act: States bucking NCAA to let athletes be paid for name, image, likeness"

Inside Higher Ed, "The Push for Player Pay Goes National", "Polls of the Week and Other Polling Bites"

MSN, "Poll: 60 percent of adults think college athletes should profit from name, image and likeness"

Yahoo Finance, “Poll: 60% of Americans support college athletes getting paid endorsements”

Darren Rovell, "JUST IN: New results from @HallSportsPoll on the public's opinion of college athletes being able to cash in on their name, image and likeness."

Seton Hall Sports Poll Twitter: @HallSportsPoll

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