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Report: Sanchez, Teenager Romantically Linked

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- He's a famous quarterback and she is only 17 -- still in high school.

Now, alleged romantic encounters between Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and a young woman from Greenwich, Conn., have sports fans and parents questioning his judgment, reports CBS 2's Dave Carlin.

It's a headline no sports superstar should want -- romantically linked to a 17-year-old.

It's a tale of nightclubbing, fine dining and visits to his mansion on a golf course in Bedminster, N.J., allegedly with high school student Eliza Kruger.

The age of consent is 16, so what Sanchez has been accused of doing is not illegal as far as the letter of the law goes. In the court of public opinion, however, it's not at all admirable for a role model, said Ben Sturner of the Leverage Agency.

"He's getting paid millions and millions of dollars. He needs to protect himself. He needs to protect his endorsees and he needs to protect the franchise of the New York Jets and his image," Sturner said. "It's going to hurt the New York Jets, and it's going to hurt the NFL."

Kruger did not talk to Carlin, but she shared her story with a gossip website, even providing photographs, which included a rumpled bed with a framed shot of the Meadowlands, and a desk with three helmets -- Sanchez's high school, college and current team.

The 17-year-old is quoted as saying she used a fake ID to get into nightclub Lavo on 58th Street, where she said she met Sanchez on New Year's Eve. Another date was said to have followed at Nobu.

The Jets would not comment on Sanchez's personal life. CBS 2 reached out to the millionaire quarterback but we have not heard back.

Kruger's neighbors said they feel for the girl's parents and worry about a culture they said rewards indiscretion.

"These slimy shows on TV -- now they glamorize these younger women going with older men. It's a lot harder to raise children now than it was a decade ago," Renee Chornert said.

"He made a poor decision. Hanging out with someone that young he should avoid. That is my opinion," added Jason Hertz of Oceanside.

"He's hot. He should do what he wants," one woman said.

But child psychologist Dr. Susan Bartel said a person in Sanchez's position should be more mindful.

"He needs to take a hard look inside himself and ask should I be hooking up with a 17-year-old? The answer is clearly no," Bartel said.

Bartel also said parents can use this to talk to their children about making good choices.

There was no comment from the 17-year-old's parents. Her father is a wealthy financier.

Outraged by this? Think Sanchez's personal life is nobody's business? Sound off below!

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