HPU Poll: Majorities of NC Residents Say Student Athletes Should Be Able to Endorse Products

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 15, 2019 – A new High Point University Poll finds 54% of North Carolinians think student athletes should be able to get paid for the use of their names, images or likenesses. Only 30% think they should not be paid, and 16% did not offer an opinion.

In a spring 2018 HPU Poll, 58% of respondents said student athletes should not be paid for the hours they spend practicing, traveling and playing for their team even if their programs bring in a lot of money to their schools.

A majority (51%) of these same North Carolina respondents said they think college athletes should be able to sign deals to endorse particular products while they are in college, while 34% said they should not be able to sign such deals.

The November poll found 23% of respondents follow college athletics either extremely or very closely. Another 25% follow somewhat closely, and 46% said they follow college athletics not at all closely.

When asked about the attention media pays to college athletics, 48% said about the right amount, while 24% said media pays too much attention to college athletics. Only 10% said too little attention is paid to college athletics, and 18% did not offer an opinion.

“The respondents in the most recent HPU Poll seem to be in agreement over college student athletes receiving pay for the use of their name or likeness,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct instructor. “Majorities also agree that these athletes should be able to sign endorsement deals as well.”

All adults – College Athletics (November 2019)

How closely do you follow college athletics?  Would you say extremely closely, very closely, somewhat closely, or not at all closely?

Extremely closely – 10%

Very closely – 13%

Somewhat closely – 25%

Not at all closely – 46%

Don’t know/refused – 6%

(All adult North Carolina resident phone and online sample, surveyed Nov. 1 – 7, 2019, n = 1049 and credibility interval of +/- 3.6%)

 All adults – Media & College Athletics (November 2019)

Would you say that the media pays too much, too little, or about the right amount of attention to college athletics?

Too much – 24%

About the right amount – 48%

Too little – 10%

Don’t know/refuse – 18%

(All adult North Carolina resident phone and online sample, surveyed Nov. 1 – 7, 2019, n = 1049 and credibility interval of +/- 3.6%)

All adults – Student Athletes (November 2019)

Do you think student athletes should be able to get paid for the use of their names, images, or likenesses?

Should be paid – 54%

Should not be paid – 30%

Don’t know/refuse – 16%

(All adult North Carolina resident phone and online sample, surveyed Nov. 1 – 7, 2019, n = 1049 and credibility interval of +/- 3.6%)

All adults – Endorsements (November 2019)

More specifically, do you think that college athletes should be able to sign deals to endorse particular products while they are in college?

Yes – 51%

No – 34%

Don’t know/refuse – 15%

(All adult North Carolina resident phone and online sample, surveyed Nov. 1 – 7, 2019, n = 1049 and credibility interval of +/- 3.6%)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Nov. 1 – 7, 2019 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 1,049 adults interviewed online (801 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (248 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with Dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/ to acquire these samples, and fielded the online survey using its Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.2 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education level based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2019/11/68memoA.pdf.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, chair and associate professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald is the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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