Inside Higher Ed notes a new poll out today examining public attitudes toward big time college athletics – let’s call it Big Sport – in light of the scandal at Penn State.
They summarize the Widmeyer poll’s findings:
Unfavorable public attitudes about the way Pennsylvania State University officials handled a scandal alleging sex abuse of children may be influencing their overall judgment of college athletic programs and the institutions that house them, according to a new poll.
A full 72 percent of respondents said Division I college athletic programs have “too much influence over college life.” Only 3 percent said programs have too little influence; 16 percent said they have “about the right amount” and 9 percent were unsure.
Like many polls, however, it seems to get some of the answers it was seeking.
For example, one question was “Considering the alleged long-time inaction by Penn State officials to resolve the child sexual abuse controversy, how big a factor do you believe the culture of big money that has developed around Division 1 college sports in the past 20 years played in the officials lack of action?”
Not surprisingly, lots of people think there’s too much money in Big Sport – and it apparently is leading to child molestation (that last part isn’t in the poll findings, so maybe I’m making a leap here).
The full poll can be found here – with additional questions on attitudes toward Big Sport colleges, the Catholic Church, possible penalties for Penn State, and more.