Aug. 16, 2012 at 6:00 AM ET
Missy Franklin swam into our hearts, and won four gold medals, at the London Olympics. What's next: College, or lucrative endorsement deals?
Plenty of advertisers would love Missy to represent their products, and she could probably make millions on endorsements — but that would mean giving up her amateur eligibility and missing the chance to swim at the collegiate level.
“Right now, I’m still very set on swimming in college, but my decision has become a lot harder," she told NBC's Miguel Almaguer on TODAY Thursday. "It has become extremely difficult — there are so many pros and so many cons to consider.”
And she said she does fantasize about the cash. "Turning down this amount of money is unheard-of. I mean, it's absolutely absurd. It's an amazing opportunity."
It's a dilemma many parents would love to have: Do you let your insanely talented child go for the endorsement deals, the major-league contract, the Broadway auditions — or do you insist they go to college first? Supermodel Beverly Johnson recently told TODAY.com that her "biggest fear" was that her daughter would start modeling and not finish school. (Of course, that's exactly what her daughter Anansa did, though she eventually went back and got her bachelor's and an MBA.)
It's Missy's future, and it's her decision — and from what we saw during the Olympic games, she certainly seems to have a good head on her shoulders. But we're sure her parents will weigh in on the decision. What would you do?