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Poll: Half of College Football Players Say They Have a Gay Teammate


In ESPN magazine's college football preview, Bruce Feldman and Ryan Hockensmith survey 85 current college players about the state of their game. One of the questions players were asked was if they had any gay teammates:

"Almost half of those surveyed (49.4%, to be exact) said yes, they believe they have at least one gay teammate. In the Pac-10, 70% of those surveyed said yes."

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  1. @YUKI,

    i guess your teachers need to do some research. as you said, the writers of this survey were not being scientific. nevertheless, challenge the formula; don't aim at the sampling. what would your teachers have said about polling 500 likely voters and drawing conclusions about 165 million+ potential voters?

    Posted by: nic | Aug 16, 2009 9:48:28 PM

  2. @Yuki

    In general the more data you have the more accurate your results, but there is nothing magical about having 100 data points. Prestigious, peer-reviewed medical research journals are filled with clinical trials and longitudinal studies with less than 100 subjects.

    A quick way to *estimate* the accuracy of a sample size is to take 1 divided by the square root of the sample size, so 1/the square root of 85 = 10.8%, which is close to the confidence level of 10.6% we found above.

    As you can see by using the above formula, the only thing that changes if we go from 100 subjects to 99 subjects is that the accuracy goes from 10% to 10.0503782%.

    If anyone really wanted to question this poll, they should focus on other issues besides the sample size, including randomness and bias. Even medial research professionals get these things wrong, because they are not statisticians, so they would consult with my department at the university and we would audit and modify their study designs as necessary. It is common for universities to have these departments for this purpose. To be clear, I am not a statistician, but worked with them for seven years while I was a software engineer and data manager in the statistical consultation and research department.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 16, 2009 10:09:30 PM

  3. @NIC:

    They most likely would have said it would need more, I should think. I believe I said "at least 100", too... the more people you get for a survey, the more accurate it can be.

    Posted by: Yuki | Aug 16, 2009 10:10:54 PM

  4. @YUKI,

    look it, if we were to randomly choose 85 males out of the entire u.s. male populace, and ask them if they know a gay man or woman, what do you think they would answer? "durr, i don't know. i'm too busy picking my nose and fuckin' my sister to care." i don't think so. likewise, your conclusion on this non-scientific survey.

    because you and others are averse to random sampling and cannot see the forest for the trees, then look at what MIKE and others have said about scientific polling.

    i am merely trying to explain the obvious. unless the 2 journalists specifically picked out homo-friendly college football players, then we must assume that nearly 50% of 85 collegiate football players are being untruthful. moreover, we must assume that 70% of the pac-tenners are liars. that makes no sense. meanwhile, i'm packing my bags for the pacific west to see what 'poling' i can do. yumm.

    Posted by: nic | Aug 16, 2009 11:14:59 PM


    Posted by: Paul | Aug 17, 2009 7:11:04 AM

  6. Half of every team thinks the kicker's gay. This isn't news.

    Posted by: finny | Sep 24, 2009 10:17:10 PM

  7. This survey is meaningless, it asked if they think someone on their team is gay, there is no facts in the survey its just a matter of opinion, and even if it was true, the gay football memebers would most likely stay in the closet because they would be srutinized, and they would fear what their teammates would say or do, and the truth is until everyone is ready to look at the world open minded and without persecution of someones sexuality or even ethnicity, sex, etc. then there will still be those people who are gay and they will be in the closet, and people really need to get over the stereo-types, why dont they focus on all the steroids being used in football instead of going after the gays.

    Posted by: Isabella Cane | Jan 2, 2010 3:22:57 AM

  8. I am so turned on by Mike and his Math skills right now, I can barely keep my clothes on!

    Posted by: Jon | Jan 11, 2010 3:03:14 AM

  9. The PAC 10 is now the PAC 12 with the addition of:
    Univ of Colorado
    Univ of Utah

    That said, I want a hot Mormon football playing husband. Thx.

    Posted by: Tigger | Jun 8, 2011 12:19:03 PM

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