Trayvon Bromell, who shared World Championships 100m bronze on Aug. 23, turned professional and will forego his final two seasons of NCAA eligibility with Baylor, his new apparel sponsor, New Balance, announced Tuesday.
Bromell, 20, became the youngest man to earn an Olympic or World Championships 100m medal since 2003 when he clocked 9.92 seconds in the final in Beijing two months ago.
He tied another NCAA junior, USC’s Andre De Grasse, for third place behind Usain Bolt (9.79) and Justin Gatlin (9.80).
De Grasse has not turned professional.
Bromell will be represented by Bolt’s agent, Ricky Simms.
“I knew after Worlds and medaling, I knew that I could get a good contract, so my main thing was to figure things out with my family,” Bromell said, according to SportsIllustrated.com. “We felt that right now was the best decision. We weren’t big on taking chances for next year. In a moment like this, it’s a 50-50 chance if you decide to go back to school. You could get injured and your value would drop. We felt like the opportunity was in our face.”
Bromell’s decision was not surprising, given his Baylor coach said before the U.S. Championships in June, “if he goes big up there this weekend, which by all accounts he probably will, it’s going to be difficult for him to come back,” according to the Waco Tribune.
Bromell then clocked the fastest wind-legal time of the U.S. Championships — 9.84 in the first round — and eventually finished second to Tyson Gay in the final.
“Only way I’m going to come out [and turn pro] is if I get what I’m worth,” Bromell said on USATF.TV at the U.S. Championships. “I’m not like the average athlete that jumps when they see a dollar sign. … I don’t want to seem like I’m asking too much or anything, but I don’t want to be that person that gets gypped over and not get what they should get. I feel like if I’m not getting what I deserve, I’m going to stay in school because I guarantee my degree will get me what I’m worth.”
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