Missy Franklin has a big decision to make. She is the first American female ever to qualify and swim in seven Olympic events. At the London Games she captured five medals—four gold—as well as the hearts of swimming fans who welcomed her bubbly personality into their homes. Now that the Games are over, she could be in line for an enormous payday: The estimates of what she could earn from potential endorsements range between the hundreds of thousands of dollars to a couple million.
But the NCAA prohibits athletes from accepting sponsorship and advertising money if they want to be eligible to compete in college. So the 17-year-old American swim sensation has to make a choice: Should she go pro and cash in on her Olympic success, or should she resist the lure of financial rewards and instead reap the benefits of going to college?