In college football crazed Florida, paying student-athletes opposed 2-to-1, poll says

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With wide racial and age gaps, Florida voters oppose 51 – 41 percent allowing college athletes to form a union and oppose 63 – 31 percent paying salaries beyond scholarships to these athletes, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Support for a college athlete union is 62 – 29 percent among Democrats, 69 – 29 percent among voters 18 to 29 years old, 76 – 22 percent among black voters and 56 – 36 percent among Hispanic voters, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.

Men, women, Republicans, independent voters, white voters and older age groups all oppose allowing athletes to form unions.

Black voters support paying salaries to college athletes 68 – 27 percent, the only listed group to support the idea.

“Colleges are losing sight of their academic mission because of sports,” 56 percent of Florida voters, including 56 percent of men and 55 percent of women, say. Another 34 percent say “colleges are balancing their academic mission and sports appropriately.” There is agreement among all listed groups.

Florida voters say 53 – 37 percent that labor unions are good for the country, with only Republicans saying 68 – 21 percent that unions are bad for the country.

“Florida voters are all over the map when it comes to which college team they root for. But with few exceptions, they are against unionizing college athletes, and they are even more set against paying the athletes. There are some differences between men and women, and larger differences among black, white and Hispanic voters, on these questions,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

“The overall findings should not be terribly surprising given the relatively low level of union membership throughout the state.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.