UCLA investigated athletic admissions violations in 2014, prior to recent scandal
UCLA investigated two admissions actions in 2014 and found that staff members in UCLA Athletics had violated University of California and athletic department policies by offering the students admissions after the parents pledged to make donations. (Axel Lopez/Assistant Photo editor)
April 15, 2019 11:30 pm
UCLA knew in 2014 that it violated University policies by offering two students admission after their parents pledged to make donations to the athletics program, according to the Los Angeles Times.
UCLA investigated the two admissions actions when they were uncovered in 2014 and found that staff members in UCLA Athletics had violated University of California and athletic department policies, Tod Tamberg, a UCLA spokesperson, said in an email statement.
UC Regents policy prohibits admissions decisions that take into account financial, political or other benefits to the UC.
“During the review, the scope expanded to include a broader review of potential patterns of donations by the families of enrolled student-athletes,” Tamberg said in the statement.
The investigation examined the admission of a track and field student-athlete whose parents donated $100,000 to the athletics program. The student participated in track and field in high school, but she would not have been qualified for the Division I team.
Two coaches were found to be responsible for the policy violations in the admissions process, Tamberg said. However, he said UCLA’s report found no wrongdoing on the side of the student or her family and the student was allowed to remain enrolled.
The investigation also looked into the admission of a potential student-athlete for the women’s water polo team who had no experience in the sport. The student was granted provisional admission, but the decision was later reversed.
The mother of the potential student-athlete later appealed the decision and said private educational consultant Rick Singer claimed the admissions process could be influenced by a donation, according to the LA Times.
However, Singer was interviewed during the investigation and denied claiming that the parents could increase their children’s chances of receiving admission by giving donations to the university, Tamberg said in the statement.
The report also investigated potentially donation-related admissions decisions in the tennis program, but concluded there were no policy violations.
Tamberg said the university implemented new policies following the findings of the 2014 investigation.
“Immediately in the wake of the investigation and its findings, UCLA Athletics implemented a policy that a donation could not be accepted from families of prospects until the student-athlete is enrolled at UCLA,” he said.
The resurfacing of this report follows the recent college admissions scandal uncovered March in which a federal investigation found that parents helped their children cheat on standardized tests and gain admission to prestigious colleges as student-athletes despite never having played their respective sports competitively.
UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo was indicted for allegedly accepting $200,000 to secure two students admission to the university as student-athletes, regardless of their athletic ability.
However, Tamberg said the 2014 investigation did not reveal any of the criminal activity present in this most recent college admissions scandal.
“While no policy violation is acceptable, it is important to note that the recent charges against UCLA’s former men’s soccer head coach are alleged to have involved criminal activity and personal enrichment that were not a component of the 2014 investigation,” Tamberg said.