Justin Bieber gifts nearly jeopardized Missy Franklin’s amateur status

Like many of us who watched the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, it sounds like Justin Bieber got wrapped up in the athletic ability and fantastic personality of US swimming star Missy Franklin. The 17-year-old Franklin is an admittedly huge Bieber fan, as evidenced by the time she went nuts after he sent her a congratulatory tweet.

Back in August, Justin decided to send her a massive care package loaded with t-shirts, CDs, posters and other stuff. Franklin tweeted a photo of the goods when she received them:

Come to find out, Missy had to send it all back. During a recent interview with ESPN the Magazine, Franklin explained how the gifts from the Biebs nearly jeopardized her amateur status.

“It was really sweet of him,” she explained. “But it was considered a form of special treatment that could have jeopardized my amateur status. I’ve given up way too much and sacrificed too much to keep a Justin Bieber T-shirt and lose it all. So I sent it back.”

Franklin has already turned down a fortune in potential endorsement deals so she can continue to compete at the high school level. Rules are rules, so sending back the Bieber gear at this stage in her career was a no-brainer. We’re going to be seeing a lot more of the gold medalist’s face in the coming years, so I doubt Bieber will forget about her. If Missy wants another care package in a few years, I’m sure he’d be happy to send it along.

H/T Game On!
Photo Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Around The Web

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    How lame can you get? Does the NCAA think this Bieber’s way of swaying her to UC Berkeley?

  • Ken Burk

    These rules are so antiquated. There is so much money in “amateur” athletics and these trinkets are meaningless. Yes, she could sell all the Bieber paraphanlia and get probably a couple grand, but its a drop in the bucket in terms of the support the olympic team gets. Amateur athletes should be able to keep up to $10K or the equivalent of 1000 hours at minimum wage per year. If they get items of value, as long as they don’t sell them or use them while they are amateurs, then it doesn’t need to be reported.