It was a gift with some awful strings attached.
Toward the end of his sophomore year at Ohio State University, then-star swimmer Derek de Jong discovered that he was a lock for one of just a dozen spots in the schoolâ€™s prestigious exercise science program â€” and that the team physician, Richard Strauss, had made it happen.
De Jong said he had not even considered applying because his grades were nothing special and this was a highly competitive program.
â€œStrauss found out that I was interested in medicine,â€ de Jong told NBC News. â€œHe intervened on my behalf without my request.â€
But Strauss wanted something in return, he said.
â€œWhen I got in he congratulated me and asked, â€˜When do you want to repay me for it?’â€ de Jong said.De Jong said he knew what Strauss was after.
Read NBC News