A new documentary called “Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal” is airing on Neflix, and takes viewers inside the world that Rick Springer, the mastermind of the cheating scheme that helped children of wealthy parents get accepted into high-demand glamour schools by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to Singer or his bogus charity.
A critical element of the scam was having university administrators at prominent schools like Yale, UCLA and USC on the take. Singer would pay six figure fees to athletic coaches or administrators to have them push applications through the admissions department of clearly unqualified candidates, and use fake test results and photos to present these applicants as actual athletes.
Some of the people exposed in the scandal were very successful college coaches, including the water polo coach at USC, and the latest person to be sentenced, UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo.
He admitted to taking $200,000 in bribes to help students get accepted into UCLA as athletic recruits, when they far from Division One athletic material.
It’s easy to understand how the lure of seemingly easy money ensnared some very successful people, including Salcedo, who told the judge in the case he accepted the money because he wanted a nicer house.
“I am a different man than I was two years ago, and I will never make decisions like this again.”
Salcedo lost his job, and was facing a prison sentence of up to 20 years in prison, but avoided that by pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery.
His sentence is pretty severe, one of the longest of any from this case, and will have to spend eight months in jail.
Dozens of parents, administrators and coaches have pled guilty and served jail time. Singer is still free, living his life. He agreed to wear a wire and record conversations with all of his clients, essentially bringing them all down in exchange for lesser charges.
He won’t be sentenced until every other person charged in the case has been prosecuted.