Entertainment

UCLA Men’s Soccer Coach Jorge Salcedo Is One Of More Than 50 People Indicted In College Bribery Scandal

Longtime UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo has been placed on leave after news broke that he was involved in a bribery scheme helping admit students to universities. Salcedo, along with more than 50 people including athletic coaches at USC and Stanford, were part of a widespread scheme involving the admission of students to top universities using false test scores and athletic profiles. Going forward, Salcedo will have no involvement with the soccer team while the investigation is ongoing.

Salcedo allegedly accepted $200,000 in bribes for his role in the corruption scheme.

CREDIT: UCLA Athletic Department

According to court documents, Salcedo allegedly accepted $200,000 in bribes for facilitating the admission of a female and male student to UCLA. Reports show they would be admitted under the pretense of being “soccer players” even though they did not actually play prior to college. The bribes took place on two instances one in 2016 and the other in 2018.

“The conduct alleged in the filings revealed today is deeply disturbing and in contrast with the expectations, we have of our coaches to lead their teams with honesty and integrity,” reads a joint statement from UCLA and the school’s athletic department. “If the facts alleged are true, they represent a grave departure from the ethical standards we set for ourselves and the people who work here.”

Court documents reveal fake student-athlete profiles were created to get admitted to the school.

@RedditCFB / Twitter

William Rick Singer, CEO of a college admissions prep company called The Key, was the mastermind behind the entire college admissions scandal.
He was paid approximately $25 million in total from 2011 through February this year to have a person take the SAT or ACT for possible college recruits.

According to the LA Times, a female applicant was given a fake soccer profile in 2016 that was created by Singer. Salcedo would later receive the female applicants transcript, SAT scores, and fake soccer profile in May 2016 from then-USC women’s soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin. The applicant then was provisionally admitted to the school in June 2016 as a student-athlete.

As part of the provisional admissions agreement, the applicant was required to participate on the UCLA women’s soccer team for at least one athletic year. Yet there is no indication she ever played in a game. The athletic department says the school could not comment on students or prospective students.

The same thing happened again in 2018, as Salcedo helped another prospective student become a recruit for UCLA men’s soccer. The recruit was the son of another Singer client and yet again the student did not play competitive soccer prior to admission.

Salcedo had a long career in soccer and the second-longest-tenured coach in the program’s history.

Salcedo, who grew up in Cerritos, California, has a long and storied career in soccer. He attended and played for UCLA from 1990 to 1993 and would later play professionally for the Liga MX in Mexico as part of the Monarcas Morelia in 1995. Shortly after, Salcedo became the 24th overall pick in the inaugural MLS player draft and played for the LA Galaxy for three seasons.

Salcedo would return to UCLA as an assistant coach in 2001 and three years later be named head coach. He led a successful run as head coach for 15 years that included 14 NCAA tournaments and national championship game appearances in 2006 and 2014. Assistant coaches Matt Taylor and Phil Marfuggi will coach the team during Salcedo’s absence. 

In a statement emailed to UCLA, Chancellor Gene Block said he was “shocked and angered” to hear about the scandal and charges. He said the indictments show “the individuals accused of these crimes worked to conceal their actions from UCLA and the other universities.”

The scandal has shed light on the biggest college admissions scam ever in U.S. history. It’s also a harsh reminder that wealthy families can cheat their way to even higher privilege when it comes to education, an institution that has long favored those who felt the need to cheat the system.

READ:If Aunt Becky Isn’t Paying For You To Be Admitted Into College, Try These Latino-Specific Scholarships And Studying For Your SATs

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

This Latino In His Sixties Spent Half Of His Life Behind Bars, Now He’s Graduating College With Honors

Things That Matter

This Latino In His Sixties Spent Half Of His Life Behind Bars, Now He’s Graduating College With Honors

Photo via Facebook/Miguel de la Rosa

Once in a while, a story comes along that makes you realize that the phrase “you can do anything you put your mind to”, isn’t just an old cliche. One California Latino man proved that the phrase has some truth behind it.

62-year-old Joseph Valadez just graduated with honors from Cal State Long Beach after spending the half of his adult life behind bars.

Valadez’s story went viral when one of his fellow students tweeted about the California Latino man’s incredible story. “This man accomplished something incredible AND took the coldest pic of 2021,” said that caption.

The post is a screenshot of a Facebook post Valadez wrote, accompanied by some stunning graduation photos of the 62-year-old.

“I finished my last two semester at Long Beach on the ‘President’s Honor List’ for making straight As,” wrote Valadez on the CSULB alumni Facebook group. “Was also on the Dean’s List with a GPA of 3.67. Not bad for someone who spent half his adult life in prison.”

“There’s a misconception about guys like me that I want to break,” he added. “If I can do it, anyone can.”

Since the picture went viral, Valadez opened up about the journey that took him from rock bottom to where he is now.

Like many people in the prison system, addiction fueled Valadez’s life of crime. In an interview with Long Beach Post, he revealed that he began using heroine when he first joined the army at the age of 18.

“All the crimes I did were related to trying to get drugs, selling drugs,” the California Latino man told the Long Beach Post. He would spend 38 years of his life battling addiction.

After that, his life spiraled into a cycle of addiction, homelessness, violence, and crime. In total, Valadez has been to prison 40 times. He has spent more than 30 years behind bars.

Valadez finally decided to change his life in his 50s, when he realized that if he kept living this way, he would die soon.

In 2013, Valadez checked into an adult rehab facility. He stayed there for a year while he got clean. Soon after, he enrolled in Orange Coast Community College before ultimately transferring to Cal State Long Beach. In total, it took six years of challenging coursework for him to graduate. But from the look of pride in Valadez’s face, it was worth it.

Throughout his journey in the educational system, however, Valadez has discovered all the ways that the system failed him. Despite getting good grades in high school, teachers didn’t suggest college as an option for him. Instead, they suggested he pursue landscaping or construction. Similarly, when Valadez bounced in and out of jail due to his addiction, no one ever suggested rehab as a way for him to break the cycle.

Now, Valadez wants to take the lessons he learned and give back to his community.

At CSULB, Valadez excelled in sociology, and was interested in exploring how the criminal justice system is set up to target people of color. “I know a little bit about that subject because I lived it,” he said. “I wanted to understand the ‘why?’.” As of now, he is waiting to see if he gets accepted into CSULB’s Social Work masters program.

Valadez wants to use his new degree to help young kids who are at-risk of being failed by the system, like he was. “I’m going to inspire somebody, I’m going to motivate somebody, I’m going to give somebody hope,” he said. “That’s what I’m supposed to do.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Strangers Raise Over $175k For a Latina Student Who Used Her College Savings Towards Her Mom’s Rent

Fierce

Strangers Raise Over $175k For a Latina Student Who Used Her College Savings Towards Her Mom’s Rent

Photo via GoFundMe

So many of us have parents who have had to overcome impossible obstacles to give us the chance at a better life. The older we get, the more we recognize the amount of sacrifice it took our parents to give us a better future than they have. But sometimes, things don’t go according to plan–like for Alondra Carmona.

18-year-old Alondra Carmona gave her mother her entire college savings when she discovered that they were two months behind on rent.

And Alondra hadn’t been planning to go to just any school, but Barnard–an all-girls Ivy League school in New York City. Barnard had been Alondra’s dream since she was 15-years-old. She worked hard throughout her four years at high school and, luckily, all that hard work paid off. In December, she found out she was accepted, and she felt like all of her dreams had come true.

Barnard had offered to cover $60,000 of her tuition each year, and Alondra had planned on covering the rest of the costs with her own money–which amounted to about $2,000 that Alondra had saved from her high school jobs and internships.

But earlier this month, Alondra was hit with a blow: her mother had secretly been unemployed for the last 3 months and now they were facing eviction.

Photo via Alondra Carmona/Facebook

According to Alondra, she had no clue her mother was having financial problems. Her mother had hid it from her family because she didn’t want to worry them.

“When she told me that, I wanted to cry,” Alondra told local news station KHOU.”I knew I had to accept I couldn’t go to Barnard.”

Without hesitating, Alondra offered up her own personal college savings to help her mom cover their rent. “I knew I wanted to help her,” Alondra said. “I really didn’t think twice about it. I told her I’m going to give you my savings and make a GoFundMe page to see if I can get enough to replace the money in my savings.”

And so she did. Alondra posted a heartfelt GoFundMe page that kindly asked strangers to help chip in to cover her college tuition costs.

Photo via Alondra Carmona/Facebook

Alondra laid out her hopes and dreams on the GoFundMe page, explaining that she hoped to study the STEM field at Barnard and, ultimately, pursue an M.D./PhD in medicine.

“I have worked tirelessly to look for programs and opportunities that my small school could not provide,” she wrote. “All of my college savings will go to paying the rent that we are behind on. As much as I dream of going to Barnard College, it is not looking promising right now. I am turning to this as a last resort because Barnard will not be able to change my financial aid package.”

Within days, Alondra had raised $171,000–far more than her original $10,000 goal.

Alondra, for her part, is blown away by the kindness and generosity that complete strangers have shown her. “I am incredibly thankful and crying right now,” she wrote, shortly after her GoFundMe page took off. “I can’t even describe how grateful I am. I have no words. Everyone is so supportive and loving, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

But above all, Alondra Carmona is grateful to her mother–the person in her life who gave her everything. “I love my mom so much,” Alondra told KHOU. “She really has done so much for us just coming from El Salvador to give us a better chance at a good education. I’m so grateful to her.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com