FBI busts Massive exam ring

Submitted by WGoNerd on March 12th, 2019 at 10:54 AM

This story is insane and apparently involves everyone from college coaches to Aunt Becky.

The plot involved students who attended or were seeking to attend Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA, the University of San Diego, USC, University of Texas, Wake Forest, and Yale, according to federal prosecutors.

Link: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/feds-uncover-massive-college-entrance-exam-cheating-plot-n982136

Press conference about the story scheduled for 11:30am EST.



March 12th, 2019 at 11:54 AM ^

I would think the schools are the victims here,  since the purpose of the scheme is to get otherwise unqualified students admitted. Even if the cheating ring bribed someone on the inside, their actions would be at the expense of the institutions, not to their benefit. 


March 12th, 2019 at 6:33 PM ^

Sure the schools were the victims.... 

This is a pic I took at the USC vs Texas game in 2017. Lori Laughlin and her husband prowling the USC sidelines with what looks like SC athletic dept personnel. At the very least, one wonders how they got the sidelines passes.

This scandal will likely blow up to be much deeper and involve more schools.



March 12th, 2019 at 7:51 PM ^

Who cares how she got sideline passes?  Lots of people get sideline passes at UM every Saturday, too!  I have no idea what point you're trying to make here...  Maybe they were guests of Clay Helton?  Or they donated money to the AD and won the raffle?  Why does it matter?


EDIT:  Never mind.  I should have read the story first...  Neg away!


March 13th, 2019 at 9:41 AM ^

The schools themselves are the victims.  Used to be that you'd have to donate a library in order to get your dullard son or daughter into a school.  Now you're paying off some third party and/or a coach.  

In all seriousness, you want rich and famous people's kids going to your school.  It provides connections for your students and alumni.   There's an issue if their kids are stupid, but look at George W. Bush.   Politics aside, he wasn't a great student, but he owned a professional baseball team and ended up as President.  You want that guy and his CIA director/VP/President father connected to your school.  

Felicity Huffman may not be connected on that level, but she's connected.  William H. Macy is great too.  

Arb lover

March 12th, 2019 at 2:27 PM ^

The coaches were essentially putting students on the books to gain admission, for a fee, but were not contributing towards the actual school team, so I wouldn't make too much of a deal about this from a recruiting standpoint. Stanford Sailing and Yale Soccer, hand over your trophies...

The schools appear to have been the victim on a number of fronts here, so I doubt the NCAA gets involved even if it could (other than suspending these coaches obviously).


March 12th, 2019 at 6:02 PM ^

Respectfully I disagree- some of the funds were raised for the benefit of those respective programs (travel, gear, facilities, scholarships) which obviously is a recruiting pitch to legit prospective SA's. Although these particular individuals had no bearing on the actual program itself - the bribe money may have impacted the overall "health/vibrancy" of the program which in the public eye is appealing to many top-flight recruits.


March 12th, 2019 at 10:10 PM ^

Each school's athletic programs have what are called restricted accounts that are fundraising accounts which accept booster donations from anywhere and anyone. If monies do not go directly from bank account to restricted account, there are foundations set up that serve as essentially "middle-agencies" or slush funds which sit in escrow so that a large sum of funds can go from booster to foundation to restricted account. The money may not have come directly from their name(s) but it will come in the form of a check from "ABC Foundation". This is the reason why many of these college's athletic departments are now sorting and sifting through their fundraising accounts. 


March 13th, 2019 at 12:53 AM ^

Did you read the article? There was nothing that indicted any money went to the schools. The money went to coaches who fraudulently verified that otherwise unadmitable applicants were athletes on various teams. There were also test proctors and college administrators who were paid off. But the bottom line is that the applicants whose families paid these people were not athletes and were not actually on the teams. The fraud was committed to the detriment of the universities.


March 13th, 2019 at 9:26 AM ^

Yes, I read the article and I’m following it immensely because I work in college athletics - if you read a bit more into it, many Athletic Depts are publicly saying that they must track the money to see if any of it have reached their fundraising accounts - chances are it has. I’m not suggesting the schools are culpable - just indicating that I would be shocked if some of the dollars have not made its way to programs. We shall see...

Benoit Balls

March 12th, 2019 at 12:48 PM ^

I was an essay writer.  I averaged 45 essays a semester for 4 semesters in a row. Nice little side business. Could get away with charging athletes more because they had that sweet, sweet stipend money.  One "regular" student never had cash, so Id let him pay me in cigarettes, which he would buy using the gas card his parents gave him

Mr Miggle

March 12th, 2019 at 11:54 AM ^

I'm sure you and some others didn't read the article and jumped to the wrong conclusion. 

This had nothing to do with college athletes. It's about very rich families cheating to get their kids into top schools. One of the methods used was to pay college coaches to lie and say they were recruiting these students when they were not. They were pretending to be competitive athletes and using that to get preference in admissions.


March 12th, 2019 at 11:03 AM ^

"Authorities say parents would pay him a predetermined amount, with full knowledge of what they were doing. He would then steer the money to one of two places: either an SAT or ACT administrator, or a college athletic coach.  The coaches would allegedly arrange a fake profile that listed the prospective student as an athlete, and exam administrators would either hire proctors to take the test or correct the answers of a student. The bribes ranged from a few thousand dollars to up to 6 million, according to officials"

Ok I have to ask.  How fucking stupid does a kid have to be for a parent to have to pony up 6MM to get them into a college?????   


March 12th, 2019 at 11:17 AM ^

I'm pretty sure if I found out that I was too stupid to get into the school of my choice and then found out my parents were even dumber cause they were considering paying that school 6MM to get me accepted I'd have been smart enough to see if they'd give me 5MM to have a different favorite school.

Everybody wins.


March 13th, 2019 at 1:28 PM ^

I know a family that did this for Michigan too. They donated a very significant amount to get their son into school. He didn't get in. Needless to say the parents were fuming and still are fuming about it to this day. I, along with everyone else, just laugh about it. 

Perkis-Size Me

March 12th, 2019 at 1:05 PM ^

To be fair, that happens everywhere. I guarantee it's happened at Michigan at least once in the last 200 years. I bet there is at least one student in Ann Arbor now who is attending solely by the grace of his parent's very large checkbook.

Money (like winning) solves a lot of problems, and gets everyone's heads turned the right way. Someone cuts your university a check for $6 million, think about everything that can do for the school. Research funds, new admissions halls, athletic facilities, whatever you want. Many will say attaining that money is worth the stain of letting one student in who otherwise would not belong. 

Its a cliche, but its true, my friend: it's always been about the money. That's not going to change.