A new poll related to the Supreme Court's recent ruling on National Collegiate Athletic Association restrictions of payments to college athletes found public opinion mixed about whether athletes should be allowed to receive modest payments for their name, image or likeness, or NIL.
The court ruled that the NCAA may not bar modest payments to athletes, but a nationally representative survey of 1,000 respondents found that although 60 percent of the public supported college athletes making money by selling or endorsing products with their own image or likeness, just 26 percent of the respondents supported paying the athletes directly from university funds, and 45 percent opposed doing so.
The poll, released Thursday by the Bucknell Institute for Public Policy, found respondents favored colleges giving athletes a share of the money earned from their sport by the college. Forty-seven percent of respondents favored this option, and 29 percent opposed it.
Public opinion on this issue was also sharply divided along political lines.
"Both college sports fans and non-sports fans were in agreement on their support for athletes making money from their own image or likeness -- at 62% and 59% respectively -- but there were differences by political affiliation, with 69% of Democrats and 61% of independents supporting the idea, compared with 42% of Republicans," a blog post by the Bucknell institute stated. "Both fans and non-fans were equally opposed to paying college athletes directly from university funds at 43% and 45% respectively, with 61% of Republicans opposing it, compared to 33% of Democrats.