Federal Investigation Shows A USC Associate AD Helped Admit Fake Football Recruits

03.12.19 6 days ago

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A federal sting into a college entrance fraud ring titled OPERATION VARSITY BLUES (yes, that is the real name) concluded with 50 individuals being charged, as parents of kids paid a third party to facilitate payments to school programs and coaches to get students into schools by pretending they were athletic recruits to get them priority in admissions — as well as cheating on entrance exams.

Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman were the two most famous names of those charged, including Loughlin apparently paying $500,000 to get her two daughters into USC by posing them as crew recruits. Yale’s women’s soccer coach made out like a bandit in the scheme, making at least $1.6 million by pretending clients were soccer recruits to help them get into the school.

While most of the programs involved were smaller, non-revenue sports, USC apparently was funneling students through as fake recruits for basketball and, amazingly, football. According to Justice Department documents released on Tuesday, William Rick Singer, who ran the for-profit college prep business that created the fake profiles, made three non-football players into fake football recruits and used associate AD Donna Heinel to push them through to get them priority admissions.

The most brazen of those fake football recruits was the son of William McGlashlan, who was made a profile as a kicker that would walk-on to the USC football team. The catch? The high school he went to didn’t have a football team, but they made him a kicker anyways with a photoshopped image.

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