Sports Scholarships cover-ups Scandal

A recent scandal saw wealthy parents bribing elite colleges in the US to allow their kids in, using fake sports scholarships as their cover-up.  


A lot of famous faces were exposed for allegedly committing fraud when this scandal came to light in March. Including Lori Loughlin of ‘Full House’ fame, Felicity Huffman from ‘Desperate Housewives’ and her husband William H. Macy from ‘Shameless’ (US). They are some of the fifty people to be charged in the scam. 


If the accused plead guilty or are convicted, they may face prison time. It was found that over $25m in bribes were paid to elite colleges, such as Yale, Stanford and Georgetown, to admit their children into the college, despite them not having the credentials. They lied about extracurriculars, changed test scores, and pretended to be on sports teams for scholarships. 


According to the Boston Globe, police accidentally came across the scam when working on a different case.  


During a wiretapped encounter, a strong piece of evidence was found. A financial executive told them that a sports coach from Yale University, Rudolph Meredith, asked for a bribe to help the businessman’s daughter to be admitted into the Ivy League School. 


The financial executive then agreed to wear a recording device and meet with Meredith who offered to create a fake sports profile for his daughter to join the soccer team. 


One of the most famous families in this scandal is actress Lori Loughlin and her daughters Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade. Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 to William "Rick" Singer, a college admissions consultant who was the mastermind behind the college scam, to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as members of the crew team. 


Singer got them admitted as members of the USC crew team, despite neither girl having ever been part of a crew team before. He would arrange for fake athletic profiles to be made for the girls, Loughlin and Giannulli just needed to send him photos of their daughters using ergometers (rowing machines). 


Felicity Huffman and husband William H. Macy have been accused of paying $15,000 to Singer to hire a person to take their eldest daughter’s SAT exam so that she would get a higher score. The cover of this bribe was that the money was being donated to a charity. 


The media coverage of the story focuses on these famous parents - because of their fame and recognition, people are more interested in the story with them being a huge part of it. Some of the other parents involved in the scandal are a self-help author, a casino operator and a Napa Valley vineyard owner. 


Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli, and Felicity Huffman have not entered pleas to the court yet. The maximum sentence that they could each receive is 20 years, but if they plead guilty to the charges, they will most likely face between six and twenty-one months in prison, according to CNN.