HPU Poll: Majorities of North Carolinians Tune Out March Madness, Oppose Paying College Athletes

Posted by Press Release on March 30, 2018 at 9:53 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. – A High Point University Poll finds that North Carolinians overall may not be following March Madness very closely this year, and a majority of them say that college athletes that bring in a lot of money to their schools should not be paid to play.

A majority of North Carolina residents (56 percent) say they are not at all closely following the NCAA Division I basketball tournament compared to only 12 percent who say they are following March Madness extremely closely, 8 percent who say very closely, and 24 percent who say somewhat closely.

A near majority of these North Carolina respondents (46 percent) say the media pays about the right amount of attention to the tournament. About a third (36 percent) of North Carolina residents say the media pays too much attention, and only 4 percent say the media pays too little attention to March Madness.

Almost three out of five North Carolinians (58 percent) say that 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. About a third (36 percent) of people in the state say the athletes should in fact be paid for their time on the team.

“Over half of the North Carolinians responding to our poll are not closely following March Madness this year,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct instructor. “And even though they might not be tuning in themselves, about one third of respondents think the media is paying too much attention to the basketball tournament.”

All adults – Attention to March Madness (March 2018)

How closely are you following the men’s NCAA Division I basketball tournament also called March Madness? Would you say extremely closely, very closely, somewhat closely, or not at all closely?

Extremely closely – 12 percent
Very closely – 8 percent
Somewhat closely – 24 percent
Not at all closely – 56 percent
Don’t know/refused – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 19-26, 2018, n = 402 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

All adults – Media Attention to March Madness (March 2018)

Would you say that the media pays too much, too little, or about the right amount of attention to the men’s Division I NCAA basketball tournament also called March Madness?

Too much – 36 percent
About the right amount – 46 percent
Too little – 4 percent
Don’t know/refuse – 14 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 19-26, 2018, n = 402 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

All adults – Student Athlete Pay (March 2018)

Top college and university men’s football and basketball programs bring in a lot of money to their schools from television, merchandising, endorsements, and alumni support. Do you think student athletes in these programs should be paid for the hours they are required to spend practicing, traveling, and playing on the team, OR should not be paid given the value of their athletic scholarship and a chance to earn a college degree?

Should be paid – 36 percent
Should not be paid – 58 percent
Don’t know/Refuse – 7 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) sample surveyed March 19-26, 2018, n = 402 and margin of sampling error approximately = +/- 4.9 percent)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on March 19-26, 2018. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 402 adults with landline or cellular telephones. The registered voter subsample relied on responses from the participants about their own registration status and yielded a total of 336 respondents. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample. The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.9 percentage points for all adult respondents and an approximate margin of sampling error of 5.3 percent for the self-described registered voters. The data is weighted toward population estimates for cellular and landline telephone use, age, gender, race, and education level based on U.S. Census and CDC numbers for North Carolina. In addition to sampling error, 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/2018/03/58memoA.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 serves as the associate director of the HPU Poll.


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