A poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News finds that a sizable majority of Americans are opposed to paying college players. Well, white Americans.
The question was phrased, "Beyond any scholarships they receive, do you support or oppose paying salaries to college athletes?," so it didn't distinguish athletes in revenue sports, or the possibility of stipends as opposed to salaries. Thirty-three percent of respondents indicated either strongly or somewhat supported it, while 64 percent either strongly or somewhat opposed it. (Of the respondents, 56 percent indicated they were college sports fans.)
The results aren't a surprise—this country was built on unpaid labor. But America, as you might expect, is not so monolithic as that. You can play around with respondents' demographics here. People who are younger, more liberal, and less religious, were more likely to support salaries for college athletes than were their older, more conservative, more religious counterparts.
The largest split came with race: White respondents opposed paying college athletes by a 73-24 margin, while non-white respondents supported salaries for college athletes, 51-46. (Hispanics also narrowly supported paying college players.)
Interestingly, there was a 47-47 split when respondents were asked if they supported allowing college athletes to form a union, again with similar demographic breakdowns.
Meanwhile, CBS/Turner's $10.8 billion TV deal means that the NCAA receives an average of $11.5 million for each and every tournament game. Just a reminder.