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

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Naya Rivera’s Dad Says ‘Glee’ Showrunner Ryan Murphy Lied About Setting Up a College Fund for Her Son, Josey

Entertainment

Naya Rivera’s Dad Says ‘Glee’ Showrunner Ryan Murphy Lied About Setting Up a College Fund for Her Son, Josey

Photos via Getty Images

Months after Naya Rivera’s untimely passing, her family is still struggling to cope with the aftermath of her death. Although there was an outpouring of well-wishes and condolences after Rivera’s tragic drowning, many people have unfortunately moved on. But Rivera’s family is still coping.

On Tuesday, Naya Rivera’s father, George Rivera, slammed “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy for making “broken promises” to Rivera’s son, Josey.

Last July, Murphy pledged to set up a college fund for Josey. In a statement, Murphy said: ““Our hearts go out to her family, especially her mom, Yolanda, who was a big part of the Glee family, and her son Josey. The three of us are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all.”

But since then, George Rivera has vented his frustration at the media mogul via Twitter. In response to a July, 2020 tweet that praised Ryan Murphy for his generosity, George Rivera wrote: “Everyone needs to know what Ryan Murphy really did … or didn’t do !!! I’m about to blow up this story …. and make sure he’s knows that I know ….”

In subsequent tweets, George Rivera accused Ryan Murphy both of faking his grief over Naya’s death and lying about setting up a college fund for Josey.

“When you are part of the Hollywood elite, some people treat others as they are “less than” …. vocalize a good game , but it’s as shallow as the sets on stage , that they create,” Rivera wrote. “Promises made in public, only to fade with time and excuses …. even in a unexplainable tragedy …”

Soon enough, fans of Naya Rivera began to engage with George Rivera, asking him to disclose what happened behind the scenes. One zealous fan wrote “Let it out, G. Let it out,” to which Rivera responded, “Broken Promises….. fake outrage …. hollow gestures ….. no phone call.”

George Rivera’s accusations against Ryan Murphy shocked many fans who had thought that her son would be taken care of by the ultra-successful producer.

Looking for clarification, one fan asked, “Did they never open the trust fund for josey? omg,” to which George responded, “Hahaaaa.” His response the initial veiled accusation.

In response to George’s accusations, many “Glee” fans rallied around the grieving father. “If you have anything else please do share,” wrote one Naya Rivera fan account. “We’re going to listen and make sure you have the platform to share whatever that awful man said and did to you and your family, we’re with you.”

Ryan Murphy quickly took to Twitter to address the allegations and defend himself–albeit vaguely.

“Myself, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan have committed to create a college fund for Naya Rivera’s child Josey through the Naya Rivera Estate Trust,” Murphy wrote. “We have been in repeated conversations with the appropriate executors of her estate.”

Based on Murphy’s use of the word “committed”, it does, indeed, sound like he hasn’t actually started the fund yet. We hope he keeps his promise and starts that very soon.

Regardless, we’re glad that George Rivera was brave enough to call out Hollywood power players that were letting his family down.

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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.”

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