NCAA president Mark Emmert has long held that college student-athletes should not be compensated beyond the aid they already receive. A University of Texas at Dallas study has found that the public is inclined to agree with him.
Researchers interviewed more than 420 randomly chosen households throughout the country and found that roughly two-thirds of respondents did not favor paying college athletes. However, African-Americans were twice as likely as whites to support athlete compensation. Gender, marital status and level of education were also considered. The study results appear in the journal Sport in Society, with possible follow-up studies to offer a wider sample.
"These surveys aren't meant to suggest a specific course of action. Rather they are tools that can be used to help better inform interested parties about the public's views and concerns over key issues," said Nicole Leeper Piquero, a UT Dallas social scientist. "This kind of measure of the public's pulse on the pay-for-play issue is useful for thinking about how best to deal with the financial aspects of college sports and to provide information for considering any residual effects this change may have on all aspects of education."