Should College Athletes in NJ Be Paid?
Is a free education compensation enough for college athletes on full scholarship or are they entitled to get paid too? That's the question asked in a new Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU)-PublicMind poll released Monday. The results indicate most New Jersey residents don't think college athletes should be paid.
"Half the voters say that they're not ready for a change in the way that athletes are compensated. We should stick to the idea of compensating athletes with tuition, room and board," said Peter Woolley a political science professor at FDU. ""Thirty-nine percent say that compensation should be offered to these athletes beyond what they're getting today."
According to an FDU PublicMind Poll press release, half of those surveyed think college athletes already receive adequate compensation between the education they receive and "the exposure some receive to secure a public contract."
In August, a federal court judge ruled that college athletes can sell the rights to their names, images and likeness. That same month the NCAA announced it would offer colleges more freedom to pay athletes if they choose to do so.
"In New Jersey, still a majority will say that they're not convinced that the athletes should get a cut of the profits," Woolley explained.
The tide of public opinion on the issue could turn over time, Woolley said, because younger people are more open to the concept of paying college athletes. Exactly half of the poll respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 said compensating college athletes is the right thing to do, but 38 percent are opposed to the idea.
Opinion is split among those who call themselves college sports fans, with about equal numbers who say college athletes are already paid enough (47 percent) or they should get more compensation than they're getting already (43 percent).
"A generation ago, the question of compensating athletes with more than scholarships was never considered," Woolley said.