Monday, August 13, 2012
Franklin can remain amateur despite bonus
By Darren Rovell
Missy Franklin has to choose between taking money from sponsors or swimming in college.
Over the past couple days, Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin has moved off her stance that she definitely would stay amateur and go to college.
The 17-year-old, who won four gold medals at the London Games, told the media that she felt she would be happiest if she went to college. But she admitted that she has seen the benefits of being able to take money from sponsors, something she can't take if she chooses to keep her amateur status.
Franklin, however, will be able to keep some bonus money and still go to college should she wish, USA Swimming spokesman Karen Linhart confirmed to ESPN.com on Monday.
Franklin will take home $100,000 for each individual gold ($25,000 from the US Olympic Committee and $75,000 from USA Swimming) in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke events. Franklin will also share the $210,000 in total bonuses she is eligible for thanks to her part in two golds and a bronze in relays. The sharing formula is more complicated since those who swam in the preliminaries and not the finals are also paid out. Linhart said those figures are still being calculated.
Per NCAA rules, Franklin is not allowed to receive a $50,000 bonus from USA Swimming for setting the world record in the 200-meter backstroke.