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Just 25% favor allowing college athletes to unionize

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AndyV's picture
April 1, 2014 at 12:57pm

Given the intense discussion sparked by Nicholas' article on paternalism in college athletics earlier this week, I almost hesitated to post this. But, for your information and further discussion on the subject, here goes.

Rasmussen Reports, one of the nation's most respected opinion polling firms, reported this week that just 25% of American adults favor allowing college athletes to unionize, although a full 22% are as yet undecided on the controversial issue.

Most Americans don’t think college athletes should be allowed to unionize but expect the fight to spread to other colleges and universities. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 25% of American Adults favor allowing college athletes to form unions. Fifty-three percent (53%) are opposed. Twenty-two percent (22%) are undecided.

Rasmussen polled 1,000 American adults March 27-28; the margin of sampling errors was +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

To reiterate, the ruling by the National Labor Relations Board is but the first step in what will likely be a lengthy and fractious process. Rasmussen's question focused on the question of unionizing, not the separate but related issue of if or how athletes in revenue sports should be compensated for their "work" on the field.

(I put the word "work" in quotation marks to denote that the use of that term in and of itself is related to the controversy, as some would argue that these athletes are in fact playing a game for which they are already "compensated" handsomely in the form of tuition, room and board, tutoring, strength and nutrition coaching, etc. In other words, it's a pretty heavy issue with very few simple answers.)

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