Find Station

New Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support Compensating NCAA Athletes

Former Duke star Zion Williamson being questioned by the media after his final collegiate game, an Elite Eight loss to Michigan State.

A nationwide survey of 1,030 Americans, conducted by the national survey research and polling firm Cygnal on behalf of Fans for Fair Play, which promotes fair compensation and economic opportunities for college athletes, shows substantial nationwide support to allow college athletes to be compensated. 

The nationwide Cygnal survey, which was conducted May 5 - 9, 2021, revealed not only that 58% of respondents support allowing college athletes to be paid, but that the following forms of payment are most favorable: paid internships/apprenticeships, trust funds received upon graduation, and paid sponsorships/endorsements. 

Respondents are particularly likely to support compensation for college athletes once they’re told: 

•Restrictions on college athlete compensation hurts low-income athletes.

•College athletes put their bodies on the line and take substantial risks that could result in career-ending injuries, yet they are denied opportunities to financially benefit from sports.

•The time commitment to their sport makes it difficult to find a job elsewhere.

•Everyone associated with college sports is making money except the players.

More than half of Americans would support a congressional proposal to “allow college athletes to earn compensation from endorsements (such as a Nike product sponsorship), internships and apprenticeships with employers, and let businesses and boosters create trust funds for athletes to be paid when they receive a college degree.”

“The survey shows broad support for college athlete compensation, especially among those who are the most passionate and engaged in college sports—the players, their families, and the fans, which we represent,” said James Davis, co-founder of Fans for Fair Play. “College sports fans respect and admire the players who make the games possible, and we’re ready to help drive common-sense solutions that allow fair compensation.”

“There’s no getting around it—denying college athletes compensation for an activity that takes hours out of their day hits low-income students hardest,” said Brent Buchanan, CEO, and Founder of Cygnal. “These athletes put their bodies on the line, risking career-ending injuries. The data shows Americans believe they should be rewarded for what they bring to the school.” 

A presentation of the results is available on Fans for Fair Play’s website

This survey was conducted by Cygnal May 5 – 9, 2021, with 1,030 U.S. adults. It has a margin of error of ±3.05%. Respondents were interviewed via an online panel. This survey was weighted to a U.S. adult universe.

Colin Cowherd Releases His Way-Too-Early 'Blazing 5' NFL Picks For Week 1

Colin Cowherd Ranks the Top 5 NBA Players Facing the Most Playoff Pressure

Former Packers Player on Aaron Rodgers: 'He Loves Playing in Green Bay'

Clay Travis: Adam Silver, NBA Won't Let LeBron James Lose in Play-in Series

Ex-NCAA Player Falls Victim to Cruel Prank Believing He Earned NFL Tryout

Colin Cowherd: 'Terrified' Clippers Tanked to Avoid Lakers in the Playoffs

Will Cain: Tim Tebow's Most Vocal Critics Are 'Racists'