She also hadn't raced in a little bit. Before the Pan Am Games two weeks ago, she hadn't raced in over a month. She is only 17, & the long season took its toll on her.
In the other thread, I see someone compared her pro decision to Alan Webb. That makes no sense, since Webb hasn't done anything notable on the world stage while Felix has been on two national teams (+ the Pan American squad). Webb is hardly world-class, Felix is already world-class. Since adidas will pay for her college education, not a bad deal at all. I wish her much success.
Webb had the fastest time on the U.S. list in the mile two years ago....
...something that Felix can't say in the women's 200 this year even with a major altitude aid, and it appears her season is most likely done as far as any more 200 racing...
I say we ought to leave them BOTH alone and just observe from afar with casual interest. If there are fireworks, we won't miss anything.
Who cares about the fastest U.S. time in the mile, when others worldwide have a much higher standard? Until Kelli White's run today, Felix had the WORLD'S (that would include the U.S.) best 200 time, albeit with altitude aid. Even her sea-level times firmly put her as a world-class runner. Webb is barely national-class, & certainly not world-class.
As many people have pointed out before, there have been numerous "track stars" in college who have bombed as pros (ie. failed to live up to expectations after graduation). Doesn't it make sense for Felix to forgo college track and spend the upcoming years getting her feet wet against the world's best? If she runs college track, it could be several years (4 years of college + a couple of years more) before the world finds out if she's one of the greatest. By turning pro now, she may become one of the world's greated in fewer than 4 years!
If she is serious about attending school and working on her degree, then her decision shouldn't produce any long-term side effects (ie, she won't be a burned out sprinter without an education at age 30).
Well, the thinking seems to be "if I don't beat my competitors (other shoe companies) to the punch, they'll have the kid wrapped up when they become famous".
So they give contracts out, if for nothing else than to protect their shoe-company interests.
Kind of like big corporations making political contributions to candidates on BOTH sides of the fence, so that they'll be "remembered kindly" no matter which candidate wins.
Of course us bean counters would say fine, but if you're betting on "futures" give them a contract that recognizes the risk inherent in all the unknown factors, NOT a mega-deal.
UCLA just gave a guaranteed "future" basketball scholarship to a high school sophomore, who prompty accepted. (the kid's acceptance is not legally enforceable though- he can back out over the next couple of years).
The kid has no intention of 'skipping' the remainder of his high school career like that Louisiana quarterback who skipped his senior year to enroll at USC- that was a special case who basically finished his HS academic requirements early and met all USC academic admittance requirements.
So even colleges are starting to try to "rob the cradle".
Allysin has an excellent chance to make the US Olympic team next summer and may even be a favorite to medal. Most, if not all, athletes her age would be looking at making the 2008 or 2012 team. With Allysin, it's 2004.
If she were to go to college, as she intended to do, she would probably still make the team. However, she would miss out on the training necessary to earn a medal. As a scholarship athlete, she would be required to carry a full load of courses (at least 12 hours). Per NCAA rules, the number of hours she can train would be limited to only a couple hours a day (which, along with 3-4 hours of class and another 3-4 hours of studying would be difficult). Then, there's the issue of participating in the April/May college track season . She risks injury or may peak too early.
One might say that she could redshirt her first year. That's true, she could. But, suppose she wins the gold medal and sponsors are breathing down her neck to sign with them. If you were her, would you turn that down? In this happens, then the redshirt year was a complete waste. Plus, UCLA has wasted a scholarship (sure, they'll get it back, but perhaps they could have made good use of it in 2004.)
As a pro, Allysin controls everything. She can take as many or few classes as she wants. She can train as much as she wants. She decides what meets she'll run and not run. If things don't go the way we all think they will, then she can still go back to college (not as an athlete, but as a student.)