The largest college admissions scandal of all time immediately caught national media attention when it was reported on March 12th, 2019. Here are some ways that you can stay away from getting involved with the wrong people and committing to a college solely based on your merit as a student-athlete.
It seems like every day another coach or parent who was involved in the biggest college admissions scandal of all time pleads guilty to their wrongdoings. This was first reported and took the world by storm on March 12, 2019. It was announced that at least 40 different people were indicted for paying bribes for high school students to gain access into prominent Universities such as USC, Georgetown, Stanford, and Yale University (among others).
The scandal gained national attention when it was found that TV Actresses Lori Laughlin (well known as Aunt Becky from Full House) and Felicity Huffman (Lynette in Desperate Housewives) were involved in the FBI report.
By spending large amounts of money, some parents were able to get their sons and daughters into prominent colleges using athletics as a “side door” into the schools. There were even situations where students’ faces would be photoshopped on athletes because they never played the sport that they were being “recruited” for!
Who Was Involved
William (Rick) Singer has been identified as the ringleader of this operation. According to USA Today, Singer and his non-profits took $25 million in payments from parents to help get their kids into college. He pleaded guilty to four felonies. He was found to have done things like bribe test proctors and coaches as well as falsify SAT and ACT records.
Working with Singer, Ali Khosroshahin, former women’s soccer head coach at the University of Southern California, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for submitting their children to admissions as soccer recruits ensuring they would gain admission to USC. According to USA Today, Khosroshahin and former assistant coach Laura Janke, “falsely designated four recruits as soccer players in exchange for $350,000 in bribes that their parents paid to the scheme’s mastermind Rick Singer, a college consultant from Newport Beach, California.” This is just one example of the many parties involved in this scandal.
Singer ran his college admissions scam under the umbrella of a private, for-profit college preparatory business, and would also disguise the payments he received from the parents as donations to a related nonprofit that he was the chairperson of as well. This can really cloud who families can trust.
Being Careful In Yor Recruiting Process
If you are someone who is trying to get recruited for a college sport, this scandal can be frustrating to hear about. Student-athletes and their families dedicate a tremendous amount of work to their sport and to the recruiting process. It is hard to believe that the dream of playing a college sport can be so easily traded to a student who was not dedicated to pursuing the sport. At SportsRecruits, we see thousands of student-athletes putting in the hard work on and off the field to be noticed by their dream school. SportsRecruits is dedicated to taking the honest approach to college recruiting and making sure that the steps families take on our platform are in the best interest of the student-athlete.
Families across the country when starting the recruiting process are using services to help them take the right steps in their process. When you and your family start researching services that you may use to aid in this process, it’s important to be on the lookout to make sure you do not find yourself in a circumstance similar to the families who worked with Rick Singer. Below are 5 tips to make sure you do not find you and your family getting in trouble for something that you had no intention of getting involved with.
What to Look For When Deciding What Type of Services to Use to Aid in the Recruiting Process
1. Anyone who is offering a “Guarantee” to get you into a top tier college is a red flag.
There are resources you can use to maximize your efforts to be a recruited athlete, but it would be irresponsible to offer those types of promises. Singer was able to guarantee admission to these schools because they were spending a large amount of money to bribe ACT/SAT proctors as well as the coaches who had recruiting spots available.
2. Have conversations with your advocates and parents about what schools are realistic.
If something appears too good to be true, there is a good chance that it is. Speaking to your high school or club coach will give you the best insight in terms of what level of collegiate play best matches up to your athletic ability. Ask them if athletic scholarships could be a possibility. Your guidance counselor can give you the best idea of how your grades will translate to the admission requirements to the schools that you are applying to. Be sure to utilize any other additional advocates you may have as well, such as a trainer, recruiting coordinator, etc.
3. Have open and honest conversations with your family about what your expectations are for college.
A lot of the students who became a part of this scandal didn’t even know that their parents were making these payments for them! It’s very possible that it wasn’t even the students’ own choice to go to the schools they got into. Student-athlete’s should be making sure they are an active participant in the college recruiting and admissions process. Having a level of self-awareness and being on the same page with the ones you trust the most will ensure that you will be well prepared when you move forward into making that college decision.
4. For SAT/ACT help, use trusted resources that are recommended by your school.
If you choose to use a private tutor or take an ACT or SAT prep course, be sure to do your homework before paying steep fees for their services. Hopefully, the services don’t cost over $6 million like it did for one family who used Mr. Singer! Find out from friends who did well on these exams, the type of test prep they did, and see if they have any recommendations for you.
5. Using a college recruiting platform like SportsRecruits would put you in place to follow all NCAA rules and regulations.
A platform like SportsRecruits gives aspiring college athletes a level of transparency in your college recruiting process that is hard to match elsewhere. Our messaging system leverages our database of email addresses for every college program in the country, so you are only a few clicks away from getting in contact with your dream school! You can see which schools are looking at your profile so you can gauge their interest in you as a student-athlete. Our advanced school search gives you the capability to research every school in the country and filter your search by criteria such as location, academics, and athletics. We have a post-production team that can create professional highlight reels for you that college coaches will see when they click on your profile or you can create your own with our free highlight reel editor. The platform simply has one goal: to empower student-athletes to pursue their dreams of playing their sport at the college level.
Obviously, paying large amounts of money to coaches and cheating on your SAT is the wrong way to get accepted into a school, but there are a lot of rules and regulations that must be followed that you might not know about. Utilizing our webinars and blogs detailing any important NCAA updates could keep you safe from losing your amateur status.
Sign up for The SportsRecruits Platform today!
About the Author
Mike Babich is one of the Insights Analyst at SportsRecruits. Mike has experience in collegiate athletics as a former football student-athlete at Mount Ida College, as well as a Graduate Assistant and Assistant Football Coach at Long Island University. He also served in the role of an Admissions Counselor for two years at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York. He has a passion for helping student-athletes better navigate and understand the recruiting process.