Poll reveals racial divide over whether college athletes should be paid

Gerald Herbert/AP
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Gerald Herbert/AP
In this Jan. 9, 2012, file photo, Alabama head coach Nick Saban celebrates with his team after the BCS National Championship college football game against LSU, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Should college athletes be paid beyond their full scholarship? The results of an August poll by the Washington Post and the University of Massachusetts Lowell show a racial divide in the answer to that question.

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When coaches are being paid millions, and sports facilities cost tens of millions, some say athletes should also be compensated.

Although 52 percent of Americans believe a scholarship is enough, 54 percent of black Americans said they believe athletes should be paid based on the revenue they generate. 

"The schools are making an awful lot of money, and the coaches are making millions and millions of dollars, and they're (the players) the ones bringing in the money, really," one black respondent said.

But whites see things differently. 

"The whole reason they go to college is to get an education, and a scholarship should be enough," a white nurse said. "They shouldn't be paid to play football."

The majority of whites who took the poll agreed with her.

Take an in-depth look at what some economists and labor lawyers call a critical problem with college sports on myajc.com

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