Seton Hall Sports Poll Finds Manning’s Public Approval Unscathed by Recent Accusations; Curry Still Well Behind LeBron, Kobe in Approval Poll; Kane Still Favored

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Pizzi’s 7 Marathons-7 Continents-7 Days Draws Near-Super Bowl Attention; 3 Strike Lifetime Ban for PED Use Ok; Sporting Event Ticket Purchases Overwhelmingly Online, Ticketmaster favored by more than 2 to 1 Margin Over Stub Hub; March Madness Just Nudges out Start of MLB for 'Most Anticipated' Sports Event, NBA Playoffs Trail

Despite recent accusations hurled at Peyton Manning over PED use (by Al Jazeera on December 28, 2015) and his behavior in college (by ESPN on February 16, 2016), the Seton Hall Sports Poll found that his approval ratings remain high among the American public and seemingly not influenced by the negative publicity at all.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll asked 762 adults across the country (using landlines and cellphones), for approval or disapproval on a number of star athletes this week. Manning had a 68% approval rating, with only 3% disapproving of him. This is consistent with previous Seton Hall Sports Polls — in fact, his highest approval (or favorable) rating yet. (The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.6%; to see approval/favorable chart since 2011,

And while basketball fans have become enamored with Steph Curry, his approval rating still trails established veterans LeBron James and the retiring Kobe Bryant. Curry had a 40% approval rating (with a remarkable 1% disapprove), while James had a 53% (9% disapprove) and Bryant a 51% approval (with 11% disapproving).

After James left Cleveland for Miami with a press announcement that was not well received, his approval was 40%, his disapproval 16%. (Seton Hall Sports Poll, November, 2010).

“It seems right to say that he has recovered from that PR blip of six years ago,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute.

Other athletes in the poll included boxer Manny Pacquaio (28% to 15%), Cam Newton (37% vs. 11%), and Patrick Kane (16% vs 3%). For a summary of all findings, please click here.

Most Admired Sports Accomplishment

Manning’s Super Bowl victory also led the results in a question of which recent accomplishment was most admired, but his 37% was not that far ahead of a strong 31% for runner Becca Pizzi, who completed seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Bryant’s All-Star farewell had 14% and Denny Hamlin’s Daytona 500 victory had 7%. (Among women, Pizzi’s accomplishment was a virtual dead heat with Manning’s Super Bowl win, with 34% to Manning’s 33%).

PED Use Ban
New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia recently became the first Major Leaguer banned for life after testing positive for a banned substance for the third time. 47% felt the punishment was right, and only 7% considered it too harsh. 32% thought it should have been banishment after one or two failed tests.

Ticket Purchasing
Respondents were also asked about their ticket buying habits for sports events. 43% said they bought sports tickets online, with only 18% saying “the box office.” 19% said they got them from friends. Ticketmaster outpolled StubHub 55% to 26% as the go-to choice, but when asked if they would likely go to a site with a relationship to the team, 56% said yes.

Looking Forward to…
Asked what event they are most looking forward to, respondents gave a slight nod to the NCAA basketball tournament with 30% to the start of baseball season at 28%. The NBA playoffs drew 17%. Among African-Americans, the result was heavily in favor of the NBA (48%), with the NCAA at 27% and MLB at 13%).

Rick Gentile will do a Podcast on this poll with Seth Everett. To stream, : To download:

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been developing students in mind, heart and spirit since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous majors, 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, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, the University has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth in addition to an impressive 95-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have been awarded nearly 20 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors including a Rhodes Scholar. In the past five years, the University has invested more than $134 million in new campus buildings and renovations. And in 2015, Seton Hall announced plans for a new School of Medicine as well as launched a new College of Communication and the Arts.

A founding member of the new Big East Conference, the Seton Hall Pirates field 14 NCAA Division I varsity sports teams. The university’s beautiful main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles from New York City – offering its students a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark. For more information, visit

This poll was conducted by telephone February 22-24 among 762 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. 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.

For media inquiries, please contact Marty Appel Public Relations,

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