On Thursday, June 3, the NOBA Business Litigation Committee hosted a CLE program titled Antitrust and the NCAA: Should College Athletes Be Paid to Play?, with NOBA Past President Jay Gulotta and Fritz Metzinger of Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, L.L.C. serving as speakers. As part of the presentation, attendees and others were asked to take a survey gauging their thoughts on the debate over player compensation in college sports.
The results to the survey can be found here [hyperlink to results]. In response to the first question-Is it your opinion that college athletes should be paid more than the "cost of attendance" at their colleges?—37.29 percent of respondents said players should receive more money from both the schools they play for and third party sources for their names, images, and likenesses, such as sponsorships and video games; 38.98 percent of respondents said players should receive more money but only from third-party sources, and the remaining 23.73 percent said athletes should not be paid more. These results are illuminating in at least two ways. While respondents strongly support players' right to make more than the "cost of attendance" to which they are currently limited (76.27-23.73 percent), those who do support an easing of compensation restrictions are torn on whether the schools themselves should be allowed to pay athletes significantly more than a normal scholarship amount.
Respondents were relatively split on the remaining issues. Slightly more people said they would be more likely to watch collegiate sports if restrictions on compensation were eliminated (55.77-44.23 percent). A slim majority of respondents believed that the elimination of compensation restrictions would make them more likely to satisfy minimum academic requirements (51.72-48.28). And, finally, a slight majority responded that, if restrictions are lifted, players should earn what they are worth, as opposed to the money being distributed "equally" among the players (53.33-46.67 percent).
The results highlight the different ways in which people perceive the "pay for play" debate, including the extent to which restrictions should be lifted and the potential consequences should student-athletes begin to earn more than the cost of attendance.
Thank you to all who attended and participated in the survey!
Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, L.L.C.