America’s Newest Tennis Sweetheart Should Sue the NCAA

Sports By: Tad Lumpkin 11:43 am

(Vice)- Here’s what America’s Newest Tennis Sweetheart should do: Take the money, stick it in a trust fund, and smile for the cameras.

Then, hire a lawyer and sue the shit out of the NCAA.

On Monday, 15-year-old Catherine Bellis defeated No. 12 seed and Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova in the first round of the U.S. Open, becoming the youngest woman to win a match at the tournament in almost two decades. By winning her first Women’s Tennis Association Tour-level match, Bellis also earned at least $60,000 in prize money—a one-day windfall she and her family plan to decline, the better to preserve her amateur status under National Collegiate Athletic Association eligibility rules should she later decide to play college tennis.

In other words: A hardworking, ambitious, successful American teenager just forfeited the equivalent of a year’s salary—at a pretty damn good job, no lessin order to maybe play collegiate sports for free at some point in the future. Bellis was forced to make this choice because a bunch of university administrators have collectively decided that college athletes should not be allowed to make money playing sports, even when said playing and money-making takes place before said athletes ever step foot on campus.

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SOURCE: America’s Newest Tennis Sweetheart Should Sue the NCAA

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