Manning’s Public Approval Unscathed by Recent Accusations; Curry Still Well Behind LeBron, Kobe, in Approval Poll

Pizzi’s 7 Marathons-7 Continents-7 Days Draws Near-Super Bowl Attention

South Orange, NJ, February 25, 2016 — Despite recent accusations hurled at Peyton Manning over PED use (by Al Jazeera) and his behavior in college, his approval ratings remain high among the American public and seemingly not influenced by the negative publicity at all.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll asked 762 adults across the country (using landlines and cellphones), for approval or disapproval on a number of star athletes this week. Manning had a 68% approval rating, with only 3% disapproving of him. This is consistent with previous Seton Hall Sports Polls — in fact, his highest approval (or favorable) rating yet. (The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.6%).

Date  Polled         Feb 2016         Oct 2013*        Sept 2012*      Nov 2011*

Approve                      68                  64                           62                    65

Disapprove                   3                    4                             3                      4

* Earlier polls asked “favorable/unfavorable”

And while basketball fans have become enamored with Steph Curry, his approval rating still trails established veterans LeBron James and the retiring Kobe Bryant. Curry had a 40% approval rating (with a remarkable 1% disapprove), while James had a 53% (9% disapprove) and Bryant a 51% approval (with 11% disapproving).

After James left Cleveland for Miami with a press announcement that was not well received, his approval was 40%, his disapproval 16%. (Seton Hall Sports Poll, November, 2010).

“It seems right to say that he has recovered from that PR blip of six years ago,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute.

Other athletes in the poll included boxer Manny Pacquaio (28% to 15%), Cam Newton (37% vs. 11%), and Patrick Kane (16% vs 3%).

Summary of all:

            Athlete            Approve          Disapprove      No Opinion

Manning            68                      3                        29

Newton              37                    11                        52

Bryant                 51                    11                        38

Curry                   40                       1                        59

Pacquaio             28                     15                        57

James                   53                        9                        39

Kane                     16                        3                        81

Most Admired Sports Accomplishment

Manning’s Super Bowl victory also led the results in a question of which recent accomplishment was most admired, but his 37% was not that far ahead of a strong 31% for runner Becca Pizzi, who completed seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Bryant’s All-Star farewell had 14% and Denny Hamlin’s Daytona 500 victory had 7%. (Among women, Pizzi’s accomplishment was a virtual dead heat with Manning’s Super Bowl win, with 34% to Manning’s 33%).

PED Use Ban
New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia recently became the first Major Leaguer banned for life after testing positive for a banned substance for the third time. 47% felt the punishment was right, and only 7% considered it too harsh. 32% thought it should have been banishment after one or two failed tests.

Ticket Purchasing
Respondents were also asked about their ticket buying habits for sports events. 43% said they bought sports tickets online, with only 18% saying “the box office.” 19% said they got them from friends. Ticketmaster outpolled StubHub 55% to 26% as the go-to choice, but when asked if they would likely go to a site with a relationship to the team, 56% said yes.

Looking Forward to…
Asked what event they are most looking forward to, respondents gave a slight nod to the NCAA basketball tournament with 30% to the start of baseball season at 28%. The NBA playoffs drew 17%. Among African-Americans, the result was heavily in favor of the NBA (48%), with the NCAA at 27% and MLB at 13%).

Rick Gentile will do a Podcast on this poll with Seth Everett. To stream, : To download:


One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit

About the poll:
This poll was conducted by telephone February 22-24 among 762 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.

Media: Media: Marty Appel Public Relations,

The results

  1. Which athlete’s recent accomplishment do you most admire: Peyton Manning’s second Super Bowl win; Denny Hamlin’s victory driving in the Daytona 500; Kobe Bryant appearing in his 18th and last NBA All-Star game or Becca Pizzi completing 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days?

Manning 37%

Hamlin 7

Bryant 14

Pizzi 31

Other 12


  1. Which event are you most looking forward to, the major league baseball season, the NBA playoffs or the NCAA Basketball Tournament?

Baseball 28

NBA 17


Don’t know 25

  1. Recently Jenrry Mejia, a relief pitcher for the New York Mets, was suspended for life by Major League Baseball for testing positive for a banned substance for the third time. Do you think banishment after testing positive three times is too harsh, just right, should be after 2 times, or should a player be banished after the first positive test?

Too harsh 7

Just right 47

Should be after 2 times 16

Should be after first time 16

Don’t know 14


  1. How many sports events would you say you’ve attended in the past year?

None 32

Fewer than 5 34

Between 5 and 10             17

More than 10 17


  1. When you are looking for tickets, where do you get them: box office, friends, on line, or another way?

Box office 18

Friends 19

On line 43

Other 12

Don’t know 9


  1. Which on line service do you use to acquire tickets, Ticketmaster, StubHub, Vivid Seats, Ticket City, Ticket Exchange or some other?

Ticketmaster 55

StubHub 26

Vivid Seats 2

Ticket City 2

Ticket Exchange 2

Other 14

  1. If your favorite team had a relationship with one of the online ticket retailers, would you be

more likely to go to them first?

  1. Yes 56
    No 27
    Don’t know 17

Now I’m going to ask you your opinion of several prominent sports figures. Please tell me whether you approve, disapprove or have no opinion of the following people:

  1. Peyton Manning

Approve 68

Disapprove 3

No opinion 29

  1. Cam Newton

Approve 37

Disapprove 11

No opinion 52

  1. Kobe Bryant

Approve 51

Disapprove 11

Don’t know 38

  1. Steph Curry

Approve 40

Disapprove 1

Don’t know 59

  1. Manny Pacquaio

Approve 28

Disapprove 15

Don’t know 57

  1. LeBron James

Approve 53

Disapprove 9

Don’t know 39

  1. Patrick Kane

Approve 16

Disapprove 3

Don’t know 81

  1. How closely do you follow sports, very closely, closely, not closely or not at all?

Very closely 18

Closely 38

Not closely 30

Not at all 14

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.