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Poll: 3 in 10 think players have gambling links

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An increasing number of Americans believe college basketball players influence the outcome of games because of gambling interests, according to a Seton Hall University poll.

The 30 percent who answered "yes" was the highest positive response to the question, which is asked annually as part of the poll conducted during the men's NCAA tournament. The response ranged from 23 percent to 28 percent in the previous three years.

The poll surveyed 701 randomly dialed adults throughout the U.S., including cellphones. It was conducted this week by the Sharkey Institute and has a margin of error of 3.8 percent.

Seton Hall also reported that 46 percent of respondents felt most or almost all college basketball programs break recruiting rules, and a quarter thought student-athletes in revenue-producing sports should be paid a salary in addition to their scholarships.

"There is a significant perception that college sports is very much flawed," Rick Gentile, the director of the poll, said in a release. "The numbers remain consistent, and this is an issue that really should be addressed by the NCAA and college conferences. Imagine if 30 percent of fans thought pro sports were rigged. There would be outrage."

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