Half of Americans support letting college athletes get paid for playing college sports, a new poll showed Thursday.
The Touchdown Strategies/TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics survey found that among those who support the idea of paying college athletes, however, a large majority think the compensation ought to be capped to protect the amateur status of sports.
The issue has caught the attention of the Supreme Court, which last month agreed to review a lower court case that found NCAA athlete compensation rules violate federal antitrust laws.
“College athlete compensation will be one of the hottest issues for the new Congress,” James Davis, president of Touchdown Strategies, said in a statement. “This is about fairness for many Americans who see college sports as a $14 billion industry with an exploited workforce, many from humble beginnings and who will never wear a pro-team jersey.”
The survey found that:
- 50% of Americans think college athletes should be able to get paid for playing sports.
- 34% were opposed.
Among those who were on board with paying young athletes:
- 40% said they think the young athletes should be able to earn earn money through endorsements, sponsorships, and product licensing agreements.
- 24% think they should get a percentage of the revenues their schools receive from athletics
- 15% thought the young athletes should be able to have paid internships or apprenticeships with businesses, and should get salaries from the schools.
Among those who were against the compensation idea:
- 40% believe it would destroy the amateur nature of college sports.
- 30% don’t think it’s fair.
- 11% think it’ll benefit special interests influence over players.
- 60% think it ought to be capped to protect amateurism in sports.
The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.