Parents and college prep agent allegedly deepfaked photos of kids to make them look athletic


By the way, this suggests that some of these kids were actively complicit with the fraud, since they would have either had to give the parents access to their accounts or (more likely) posted the photos themselves.


Highly competitive schools will take extracurriculars into account when considering admissions.


Yeah, they’ve been doing that forever. The part I wasn’t up to speed on was the “cyberstalking potential students on social media” part.


Recruiting for college athletics is crazy. It’s not just, “Here’s my cross-country and mile times, coach. Oh, I have a good SAT score, too!” these days. People record hundreds of hours of video over the course of a student athlete’s competitions from the time they are little kids, pay professionals to turn it into a mix tape of hand-picked clips set to a soundtrack. There are companies that charge thousands to feature a prospective student-athlete on their recruiting website, and will target specific colleges. They do matching with what college coaches want (both athletically and sometimes academically/ethnically) to specific athletes.

The big two revenue sports (football and men’s basketball) are too closely monitored for this kind of shenanigans, for the most part, but there is going to be a recruiting file for every athlete being recruited by a Div. I school. At the very least photos are going to be part of the backstop documents for this kind of fraud.

ETA: the photos will be part of the recruiting file, which is at the heart of this scandal. It’s not even admissions, it’s that these kids were getting a lower admissions bar by paying for the “flagged for athletics recruiting” special case.
@gracchus @Brainspore


Graduation is the thing I’m wondering about. Mumsy spent a million bucks to get me into Harvard. That’s bad enough. But did she also spend another million to be sure I’d graduate? THAT would really suck. Or did she spend the first million just so I could put “Dropped out of Harvard” on my resume?

Assuming that I really did the required coursework to earn a degree, is that degree still illegitimate somehow?

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The thing about Harvard and other Ivies is that, while it’s extremely difficult to get admitted to them, once you are in they do everything they can to make sure you don’t flunk out or drop out. It’s a version of what I call the “glass floor” effect: once the powers-that-be have invested in your success, they’ll keep giving you chance after chance and free pass after free pass no matter how badly you screw up (at least until the screw-up is so bad it makes the national news, and sometimes not even then).

USC says it will deny all students linked to admissions scandal (and has denied six already)

Huh. You would think that would make the degrees almost worthless. On the other hand, I could sort of see it like college athletes I suppose. You don’t compare the linebacker with the astrophysicist even though they both went to the same school.

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That’s consistent with George W. Bush’s record as a “C” student at Yale. The norm there is reputedly “you have to work hard to get ‘As’ but you have to be a real dumbass slacker to get anything lower than a ‘B.’”


A degree from a household-name Ivy university has cachet, and the kinds of employers we’re talking about don’t tend to ask for a GPA from the kinds of candidates we’re talking about. Also, a lot of the perceived value from going to these schools is about the connections you make in them. Your fellow students at Harvard or Yale or Princeton are future leaders of businesses and NGOs and universities and nation-states, and your professors are past or current ones.


Exactly. These schools are just addresses in the old boys’ network.
And as far as “future leaders” goes… None of them will ever provide any actual value to the company at which they will serve at some point. They will come in, make some changes, drive the company into the ground, get booted, get a parachute (or make it so the company is attractive to a larger one and is sold) and start that over again somewhere else.


Sorry, I went to college with too many rich twits. Why work hard and learn things when there is the Greek system to hand you test files with all the answers? Or hire a tutor (who is also the TA, who is grading the homework, anyway).

The high-end universities in the US (and, from what I hear, the UK, too) really have two purposes for the students: 1. work hard and learn things; 2. network with people. Depending on your goals and background, you might need to do varying degrees of the two. If you’re a rich twit, you can go light on #1 and focus on #2. You don’t actually need to know organic chemistry to work in your best friend’s dad’s hedge fund.



Prince Bush’s Old Money parents also knew how to get him into Yale without all the angst and drama and cut-outs I’m reading about here (he had the benefit of being a legacy in addition to whatever donations they made).

Most of the parents in this case didn’t seem to know how the American version of the game was played. For example, one of them spent $6-million on and via this convoluted service to get his little dimwit into USC (perhaps tricking little dimwit into thinking he got in on his own). Meanwhile, in 1998 the Kushners spent $2.5-million in straightforward donations ($3.8-million today) to get their gormless and empty-eyed son into Harvard. The former parents are now under criminal indictment, while the latter did nothing illegal.


It’s a lot like grad school. The PhD program I attended is top 15. There are less than 20 total graduate students and only 3-4 new students get in each year. It’s really selective. Once you’re in though, you have to go out of your way to fail.

I know some people who went to undergrad at Harvard and Yale. They said they don’t think it was much harder than a top level state university. The people who went to MIT and Stanford said school was pretty challenging though.

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Geez, no wonder the UCLA kids riff on USC as “the University of Spoiled Children.”



William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, and their hopefully college-bound progeny.

(Not really, that’s former “Bachelor” star Andy Baldwin and they’re in the middle of respecting the National Anthem)

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That’s Filliam H. Muffman to you and me.


This aged well…