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Fallout continues from college admissions scandal

Free Press wire reports | 3/15/2019, 6 a.m.
Colleges and companies moved swiftly this week to distance themselves from employees swept up in a nationwide college admissions scheme, ...

Also among the charged parents was Homayoun Zadeh, an associate professor of dentistry at USC. His status at USC was unclear; his faculty profile has been removed from a website, and phone messages seeking comment were not returned.

Mark Riddell — an administrator for Bradenton, Florida’s IMG Academy, which was founded by renowned tennis coach Nick Bollettieri and bills itself as the world’s largest sports academy — was suspended late Tuesday after he was accused of taking college admissions tests. Mr. Riddell didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.

Many of the coaches were quickly fired or suspended by the colleges. Prosecutors said the colleges themselves are not targets of the continuing investigation.

Stanford fired sailing Coach John Vandemoer after he was charged with accepting $270,000 in contributions to the program for agreeing to recommend two prospective students for admission. Neither student came to Stanford, the school said.

USC fired senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel and water polo Coach Jovan Vavic. Court documents say Mr. Vavic was paid $250,000 and designated two students as recruits for his team to facilitate their admission. He has been released on bond.

At Wake Forest, President Nathan Hatch said volleyball Coach Bill Ferguson, who was accused of taking a bribe, has been suspended. The university’s outside counsel is conducting an internal review, President Hatch said.

Federal prosecutors said parents paid admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer millions of dollars to bribe their children’s way into college. Some of the payouts went to coaches and administrators to falsely make their children look like star athletes. Mr. Singer allegedly also hired ringers to take college entrance exams for students and paid off insiders at testing centers to correct students’ answers, authorities said.

Mr. Singer, founder of the Edge College & Career Network of Newport Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Boston. He is alleged to have set up a charitable foundation through which the money was funneled, allowing parents to take a tax credit for the payments.

In one case, a former USC women’s soccer coach and consultant allegedly worked together in 2017 to help a client’s child get into Yale in exchange for $1.2 million from the family. A false athletic profile created for the student said she played competitive soccer and had been on China’s junior national development team.

The profile was sent to the coach of the Yale women’s soccer team and the student was accepted. Prosecutors said the Yale coach, Rudolph Meredith, received $400,000 from the consulting company after the student was accepted, even though he knew the student did not play competitive soccer.

Ms. Loughlin, who was charged along with her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, appeared in the ABC sitcom “Full House,” while Ms. Huffman starred in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.”

Ms. Loughlin and her husband allegedly paid $500,000 to have their two daughters labeled as recruits to the USC crew team even though neither participated in the sport. Their 19-year-old daughter, Olivia Jade Giannulli, who has a popular YouTube channel, attends USC.