Texarkana, TX 86° Mon H 85° L 71° Tue H 81° L 70° Wed H 87° L 73° Weather Sponsored By:

Rigged: Pay for admission scandal should come as no surprise

Rigged: Pay for admission scandal should come as no surprise

March 14th, 2019 by Gazette Staff in Opinion Editorial

By now you have probably seen the headlines: Celebrities among those charged with cheating to get their kids into elite universities.

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are the celebrities. The actresses, along with dozens more, have been charged with greasing the wheels with bribe money to ensure their children were selected for admission to schools such as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, the University of Texas, Wake Forest and the University of Southern California.

The scheme was allegedly run by a guy named Rick Singer through a company called Edge College & Career Network of Newport Beach, Calif. He's cooperating and says more than 750 students from "the wealthiest families in the U.S." benefitted from his "side door" help in admissions.

Parents would pay from a few thousand to have a ringer take their teen's college entrance exam up to the hundreds of thousands to bribe coaches to fake sterling high school athletic records—even if the kid had never played the sport.

While the two actresses make this seem like a Hollywood scheme, most of the parents are successful in other fields, including food and beverage packaging, casino operations, retail merchandising, marketing, warehousing and real estate. A dentist and lawyer show up on the list of those charged. Several college coaches as well. Charges range from mail fraud to conspiracy to commit racketeering.

The universities claim they are victims in this case. And we suppose that's true in a sense. After all, they weren't getting the money and that probably rankles them. But they set the stage for this kind of thing. For generations, elite schools have been running their own pay for admission scheme—all perfectly legal of course. Wealthy alumni build buildings, endow chairs and make huge donations to ensure their children and grandchildren—"legacies" in the vernacular—get special treatment and preferred placement. How dare anyone else cut into the gravy train?

That aside, let's look at the real victims in the case. For every student whose parents paid for admission, there's another student who earned his way to those schools but was not admitted. The same can be said about the "legacies." Who can blame so many these days for feeling the system is rigged against them?

None of this should come as a surprise. Those with the cash have always paid for special treatment, preferred access in just about everything. The real question is is all the hoopla over the arrests just another dog and pony show or, if convicted, will these privileged folks actually pay any significant penalty for what they've done?

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com