American Public Supports College Athletes Receiving Endorsement Money for ‘Image and Likeness,’ as Approved in California this Week

American Public Supports College Athletes Receiving ‘Image and Likeness’ Endorsement Money, as Approved in California this Week

But Feels NCAA, not States, Should Oversee the Process 

South Orange NJ, October 3, 2019  — The American public, by an almost 2-1 margin, believes that student athletes should be allowed to profit from the use of their name, likeness or image such as in the endorsement of a product.

Such was the finding of a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week, where 60% endorsed the idea with 32% rejecting it.  Eight percent said they did not know, or had no opinion.

The Poll was conducted among 714 adult Americans across the country, either on landline or cellphone.  The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percent.

The timing of the Poll coincided with California Governor Gavin Newsom signing a bill that allows college athletes to hire agents and earn endorsement money.

The Poll also found that 59% of respondents said it was a matter the NCAA should oversee, with only 27% saying it should be left to state governments.

Interestingly, when broken down by the age of respondents, 80% of those ages 18-29 supported student/athletes receiving payments, a number that dropped to 50% among those 60 and over.

“The public clearly supports allowing student/athletes to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness but also clearly is supportive of the NCAA, college sports’ governing body, to oversee the process,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business.

While the question of endorsement money has not previously been asked in a Seton Hall Sports Poll, a 2017 poll found that 60% – the same number as supporting endorsement money – said that scholarships were sufficient compensation for college athletes without their receiving pay above that.  That number was down from the 71% in 2013 who said scholarships were sufficient. (Questions and poll breakdown below).


One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall has been showing the world what great minds can do since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous 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 embraces students of all religions and prepares them to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, it has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth and an impressive 110-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have received more than 30 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors, including Boren Awards, Pickering Fellowships, Udall Scholarships and a Rhodes Scholarship. The University is also proud to be the third most diverse national Catholic university in the nation.

During the past five years, the University has invested more than $165 million in new campus buildings and renovations. And in 2015, Seton Hall launched a School of Medicine as well as a College of Communication and the Arts. The University’s beautiful main campus in suburban South Orange, N.J. is only 14 miles from New York City — offering students a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. Seton Hall’s nationally recognized School of Law is located prominently in downtown Newark. The University’s Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Clifton and Nutley, N.J. opened in the summer of 2018. The IHS campus houses the University’s College of Nursing, School of Health and Medical Sciences and the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University.

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About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone April 16-19 among adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones.  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.Recently chosen for inclusion in iPoll by Cornell’s Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, its findings have been published everywhere from USA Today, ESPN, The New York Times, Washington Post, AP, and Reuters to Fox News and most points in between.

Media: Media: Marty Appel,;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall, 908-447-3034

The results:

  1. Do you think student/athletes should be allowed to profit from the use of their name, likeness or image — for instance by endorsing sneakers or apparel?


1 – Yes                                                                            60
2 – No                                                                             32
3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                           8


  1. The California state senate passed a bill to allow college athletes to profit from the use of their name, likeness or image. Do you think allowing college athletes to profit from the use of their names, likeness or image is something that should be decided by state governments on a state-by-state basis or should the NCAA be the governing body overseeing this issue?


1 – State governments should decide             27

2 – NCAA should oversee                                   59

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                14



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