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HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll says 75% of Americans against college players union

Kain Colter AP

It seems there is support for college players forming a union, but a poll conducted by HBO Real Sports and Marist College Center for Sports says three-fourths of Americans do not believe college athletes should be allowed to join a union.

According to a released statement from HBO Real Sports, 75 percent of Americans  think college athletes should not be allowed to join a union since they are not college employees. The National Labor Relations Board in Chicago ruled in favor of the College Athletes Players Association on Wednesday, helping to pave the way for the union started by Northwestern football students to unionize.

The poll also suggests Americans believe the best players in college sports receive special treatment by local police in the college community. HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll reports 66 percent of those polled believe college players receive such special treatment, and 25 percent believe student athletes are treated on the same level of a typical student at a university or college. The poll also brings to the forefront the idea that race may be having an impact on how Americans view the issue of student-athletes and unions.

Per the report, 31 percent of those polled believe there is some truth to the argument the reason college athletes are not paid stems from some race issue. It goes on to clarify that 61 percent of  the African-Americans polled believe athletes are not paid because of race, compared to 33 percent of Latinos and 25 percent of white Americans.

“When the majority of revenue generating college athletes are unpaid African-American players and the majority of coaches are often white and well compensated, it almost compels the public to raise the question of race,” says Dr. Keith Strudler, Director of The Marist College Center for Sports Communication. “It is a complex issue. While sports often act as a true melting pot, it feels less apparent when financial compensation in college sports doesn’t reflect that ideal.”

We knew that the topic of players unions was a polarizing subject for many, but now it seems it has reached another divide.

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26 Responses to “HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll says 75% of Americans against college players union”
  1. woebegong says: Mar 27, 2014 1:33 PM

    Does this mean that they will pay their own tuition and demand a more lucrative pay scale for themselves?
    I am sure that there are a few Pros for increasing the supplement or stipend, but other than that, these kids have it made.
    Half of them, were it not for their athletic talent, would not even be in college, and in most cases training to try and make it to the Sunday League. How many kids that have the ability to fully utilize that college education, don’t have a chance at a scholarship?
    Do they expect the colleges to increase their stipend so they can pay union dues?

  2. djshnooks says: Mar 27, 2014 1:33 PM

    75% of Americans, huh?

    So, they polled every American on this?

    I know I didn’t participate in any poll for this, I’m American and they’re full of shit.

  3. teedraper says: Mar 27, 2014 1:38 PM

    I don’t know anyone that was polled for this. Chances are they didn’t poll the right people.

    These kids deserved to be paid….period.

  4. brianincbus says: Mar 27, 2014 1:43 PM

    djshnooks – I’m not sure you understand how polls work. They don’t ask every single person. They ask a large number and then have what doctors call a “margin of error” based on the sample size.

  5. cosmoman11 says: Mar 27, 2014 1:44 PM

    And 100% are against the NCAA.

  6. manik56 says: Mar 27, 2014 2:05 PM

    Go (back?) to college and take a stats class or two.

  7. vegasdestroyer says: Mar 27, 2014 2:13 PM

    That makes sense – 75 percent of Americans are the same idiots who thought the Iraq War was a good idea.

  8. thraiderskin says: Mar 27, 2014 2:47 PM

    @vegasdestroyer, good point… look at all the tards that voted for Obama the first time, then were actually incompetent to do it a second time. But hey, at least America looks like a bunch of liars and cowards. Too bad we can’t figure out how the mess with Russia came about.

  9. ajarkoski says: Mar 27, 2014 3:18 PM

    This is the hypocracy of most unions, isn’t it? People have real jobs that many would fight for and they get paid well by their respective company, yet they feel they need to have a union to make sure the company gives them everything they want and want to have the ability to strike and shutdown the company that hired them. And here you have students gettings free tuition, free room and board, free stipends, etc; yet, they want to get paid. Seems warped mentality to me in both of cases.

  10. dmarado says: Mar 27, 2014 3:39 PM

    This is the hypocracy of most unions, isn’t it? People have real jobs that many would fight for and they get paid well by their respective company, yet they feel they need to have a union to make sure the company gives them everything they want and want to have the ability to strike and shutdown the company that hired them. And here you have students gettings free tuition, free room and board, free stipends, etc; yet, they want to get paid. Seems warped mentality to me in both of cases.

    And those people who have “real” jobs have the opportunity for mobility, while the guy who is lucky enough to get the Northwestern schollie is getting what you mention and nothing else while his “boss” makes 3 million a year. And don’t tell me the NW degree is his ticket out, for some it may be but others shouldn’t be in any college let alone a Northwestern and they will piss away the opportunity. What this does is enables them to negotiate, nothing more. If you don’t see the NCAA as the biggest hypocritical cash-grab ever, child please.

  11. igeorgiaboy says: Mar 27, 2014 3:41 PM

    The question you should ask yourself when thinking about the players being paid.

    Nick Saban , Charlie Strong Les Miles… they all have multi-MILLION dollar contracts to coach the sport that these kids play. But hey there isn’t any money to pay players. If any school can afford to pay a coach million’s of dollars then they can absolutely find money to give these kids. How much do these schools make off ticket sales alone every Saturday? Ask Michigan, Texas A &M and Florida.

    Pay those kids what they are worth, if not let them get paid from endorsement deals.

  12. chc4 says: Mar 27, 2014 4:16 PM

    If they get paid then there’s no scholarship. Can’t have it both ways. Worst part of this is the affect Title IX will have. Universities will be forced to pay all athletes, even in non-revenue generating sports. And that ain’t good.

  13. tgaustin says: Mar 27, 2014 4:49 PM

    What about paying the “student” not the “student athlete”?? I mean, they are the ones who are going to make a difference in this world, right? They are the ones the schools turn to in terms of giving back $$$ to their Alma Mater. This whole thing is ridiculous and petty to a certain point. Like others have said before, if they get paid then treat them like any other employee of a cooperation…if you aren’t performing, then you get fired. Throw a pick, fumble, miss too many tackles, have a poor turn over to assist ratio, miss too many free throws, etc. etc. then you’re gone.

  14. dmvtransplant says: Mar 27, 2014 5:28 PM

    Cool so you’re an employee, now do the following:

    1. Pay federal Taxes on the scholarship

    2. Have the chance to be fired whenever in a right to work state

    3. Pay individual states that have game day tax laws(Michael Jordon tax rule)

    4. Get fired from the University anytime you get arrested, because you can’t pass the company background check

    Welcome to the real world, where you have to contribute and play by societies rules. Good Luck with that.

  15. Slim Charles says: Mar 27, 2014 5:48 PM

    dmvtransplant, i’m sorry you’re bitter and disappointed about your lot in life. that doesn’t mean you have to take it out on other people who want better. Try to improve your own situation instead of complaining about other peoples.

  16. dmarado says: Mar 27, 2014 6:04 PM

    Actually, dmvtransplant, if I’m a 5-star recruit going to a big-time school, I say bring all that on. I’m sure the pay you’d get would outweigh any taxes. How many games out of state? Four? I’d pay the tax. And, if you get arrested you should be fired, just like anyone else. Being an employee would take away the privileged status that “student-athletes” enjoy and show them they are just like anyone else and have to act like it. Win/win.

  17. Professor Fate says: Mar 27, 2014 7:18 PM

    At no time in the past 30 or 40 years have college football or basketball players ever been anything but money-making slaves for the big-time schools.

    The NCAA calls them student-athletes in order to keep up the charade. Universities get to make billions of dollars from the entertainment value of these kids while claiming that a low-middle class wage (scholarship) is a fair trade.

    The football and basketball programs in the top division are money-making endeavors and universities that continue to claim they are merely a part of the “student-athlete” experience are breathtakingly disingenuous. The separation of actual students at a college to the athletes who provide nation-wide entertainment to huge audiences (that line the pockets of universities and the NCAA) has never been bigger.

    These athletes are university employees. Pay them as such. If they want to attend classes as well, then go ahead and charge them tuition. The smart ones will realize that re-investing some of their earnings in a degree can be the fall-back plan if they don’t make it as a pro. The not-so-bright won’t be much worse off than if they hadn’t gotten that plum job playing at State U for a few years.

    Other benefits are that the agent issues go away, the “improper benefits” BS goes away, the booster problems mostly go away, etc. The NCAA could actually make even more money by not having to fund a bloated and incompetent enforcement division.

    There are no Title IX issues here. No other college sport makes money besides football and basketball. The other sports remain the same, while the two big ones stop pretending. Money earned by football and basketball can still be directed towards other college sports and those head coaches who claim they didn’t take the job for the money won’t be disappointed to no longer be the highest-paid public servant in the state.

    A great many people are thrust into the “real world” right after high school. The vast majority work out just fine. The sooner a kid sees how things really work the better off he’ll be. What better warm-up for the cutthroat world of the NFL/NBA?

    The NCAA fears that paying players will result in an upper tier of limited schools that can compete on that kind of field. So what? A hundred twenty five or so schools in FBS is ridiculous as it is. How many of those schools have a realistic chance of regularly competing with the top 50?

    What the NCAA wants is to continue what has been a very successful business model for them for many years. Unfortunately, the inmates printing the money now want a piece of the action. Anyone challenging the NCAA and its hegemony is okay by me.

  18. dmvtransplant says: Mar 27, 2014 8:16 PM

    @ Slim Charles

    I’m not bitter about anything, just because your in the 25% don’t complain about the other 3/4 of us that disagree with you. Stop trying to speak for the majority with your small petty voice.

    @ dmarado

    The vast majority of major programs couldn’t survive if their players had to live by the same rules as regular society. No where else can you have multiple arrests and be cleared to work a high level income job.

    If you ever saw the ESPN 30/30 “Broke” you’d know tons of athletes every year get hit with game day taxes and some actually go into debt because of it. The reality is just handing a poor kid tons of money and no real supervision is a bad thing, just ask Vince Young about it.

  19. musketmaniac says: Mar 27, 2014 8:19 PM

    I did my own poll. 75% for 20% against. 3% threatened me for speaking to them. and 2% don’t care but they do want 8 track and vinyl back.

  20. novasportsfan says: Mar 27, 2014 9:20 PM

    That is the problem with young people today. they all thing they are entitled to something. Let me see half of these dummies get into college if it wasn’t for their athletic ability. Take advantage of your gift and use it to better yourself for FREE. I had to pay $80, 000 out of my pocket for college because I am not gifted like these babies.

  21. ebrownwareagle says: Mar 27, 2014 9:47 PM


    Y’all Sound like TWO PURE BREAD AMERICAN, KKK Bible toting Christians!
    Give A Black Kid money! Lord Help us All!!

  22. dmvtransplant says: Mar 27, 2014 11:12 PM

    ebrownwareagle says


    Y’all Sound like TWO PURE BREAD AMERICAN, KKK Bible toting Christians!
    Give A Black Kid money! Lord Help us All!!


    Seeing as I’ve been Black my whole life I fail to believe the Klan would take my membership application.

    And if giving poor black kids tons of money wasn’t such a problem, than the NFL & NBA wouldn’t spend millions on financial advisers to the players so that their money isn’t gone before they retire. Once again watch 30/30 “Broke” I’m not making this up.

    And if you’re going to play the race card it doesn’t work if the other guy is that race, MY NINJA!!

  23. edgarh21 says: Mar 28, 2014 2:50 AM

    Take away scholarships and pay them

  24. dmarado says: Mar 28, 2014 10:20 AM

    One espn docu-drama doesn’t mean others wouldn’t benefit from doing away w/the fake “student-athlete” tag. What you advise is that we keep the current system which works only for those in power and continues to turn a blind eye to reality.

  25. kansas525 says: Mar 28, 2014 1:09 PM

    If the athletes don’t appreciate the $100,000 education that is made available to them free of charge and want to unionize, there is an easy solution. Don’t give them scholarships. Therefore, they will not be considered employees.

    If this succeeds, no one who wants a legitimate college education will be able to afford it because ALL the athletes will need to be paid (Title IX) and the universities will not have any money for anything unless tuitions go through the roof.

  26. dmvtransplant says: Apr 12, 2014 11:02 PM

    @ dmarado

    Handing uneducated people money and hoping for the best never works. If you think the ESPN special was wrong look up how many lottery winners end up in debt.

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