Justin Gatlin, who won six NCAA sprint titles as a freshman and sophomore at Tennessee, ended his collegiate career by signing a professional contract.
In a rare move by a collegiate track athlete, Gatlin, of Pensacola, Fla., signed a sponsorship contract with Nike over the weekend, which voided his 2 years of remaining eligibility at Tennessee. The school announced Gatlin's decision yesterday.
Gatlin, who was recruited as a hurdler out of high school, helped the Volunteers win the 2001 NCAA outdoor championship with victories in the 100 meters and 200 meters and led the team to the 2002 NCAA indoor title. In the spring, he was undefeated in every sprint race he entered.