In the latest Reason-Rupe poll, 64 percent of Americans say college football and basketball players should receive a share of the money when universities and companies sell merchandise like their jerseys and video games featuring the players' likenesses.
"When I was in college, I know personally, as far as jersey sales and ticket sales, I helped make that university a lot of money," Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said this week. "Johnny Manziel helped make Texas A&M so much money. You're talking about championship games that he was able to lead those guys to. You're talking about jersey sales that he don't see a dime of. I feel like as much money as universities make, I feel that some of that money should be given down to the players as well because we are the ones that are making this university money."
During the NCAA basketball tournament, UConn's Shabazz Napier, who ended up being named the tournament's most outstanding player, said there are nights he goes to bed hungry.
"I just feel like a student-athlete, and sometimes, like I said, there's hungry nights and I'm not able to eat and I still got to play up to my capabilities. … When you see your jersey getting sold — it may not have your last name on it — but when you see your jersey getting sold and things like that, you feel like you want something in return," Napier said.
The Reason-Rupe poll found 50 percent of Americans believe college basketball players should receive a share of the billions of dollars that CBS and Turner Sports are paying the NCAA to broadcast the basketball tournament.
Last night on The Daily Show Jon Stewart highlighted Napier's hunger and the NCAA's hypocrisy: