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.
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.
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.