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College Athletes Shouldn’t Be Paid for Playing Sports, Poll Says

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Sept. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Almost two-thirds of people polled by Seton Hall University said student-athletes shouldn’t be paid a salary to participate in intercollegiate sports.

The finding comes a month after the National Collegiate Athletic Association said it’s investigating the University of Miami athletic department over possible payments to at least 72 athletes from 2002 through 2010. Ohio State is awaiting the NCAA’s decision on the suspensions of five football players for selling memorabilia to the owner of a tattoo parlor.

“I thought with all of the hoopla surrounding the suspensions of the kids at Ohio State and Miami and others, there would be a little bit of a shift,” poll director Rick Gentile said yesterday in a phone interview. “But that’s been a consistent thing. People do not think student-athletes should be paid.”

Sixty-five percent of respondents were against paying student-athletes, while 27 percent were in favor, with 8 percent saying they didn’t know.

“The public is not buying the idea of paying them,” Gentile said. “They think they’re getting scholarships and a free education.”

Thirty percent of respondents said they favor adding a wild-card team in each league in the Major League Baseball playoffs, while 45 percent were against such a move.

Sixty percent said baseball should have an instant replay system similar to the one already used by the National Football League, while 23 percent were opposed.

“People are satisfied that the NFL gets it right and there’s too many times that they watch a baseball game and the umpires get it wrong,” Gentile said.

The survey of 959 randomly dialed people across the U.S. had a margin of error of 3 percent and was conducted by The Sharkey Institute at South Orange, New Jersey-based Seton Hall.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Gloster in San Francisco at rgloster@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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