16-year-old Missy Franklin has said no to a lot of money these past months, according to the Wall Street Journal more than $130,000, because if she accepts them, she will be ineligible to compete at the NCAA. No to $20,000 for winning the USA Swimming’s Grand Prix series trophy last summer, $50,000 for finishing second overall in the FINA World Cup series in November, plus $23,000 for winning several races. It is estimated that she could “pick up a few hundred thousand dollars” in the run-up to the Olympics, so it is no wonder that her parents called for a family meeting when facing the FINA World Cup series $73,000, to make sure she had some perspective. With them at the same time having to pay up some $13,000 to follow her to the Shanghai 2011 World Championships, and be her agent as NCAA rules won’t even allow her one of those.
“I was able to say, ‘You know the $73,000 you just made in four days of swimming? You see how hard Mommy has to work to earn that in an entire year?'” said D.A. Franklin, who works with developmentally disabled patients. “Because I don’t think you quite get it when you’re 16. You don’t understand what $73,000 or $100,000 really means.”