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Volume 26 No. 5
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USC's Involvement In College Admissions Scandal Goes Deeper

USC water polo coach Jovan Vavic was among those charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering

USC's involvement in a nationwide college admissions scandal was "far more systemic" than other schools and involved four people who had "worked for the athletic department," according to Brian Costa of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. A 204-page FBI affidavit outlines how USC's bribes became a "form of institutionalized fundraising for athletics," more than a "mere coach cashing in." On Tuesday, USC fired Senior Associate AD Donna Heinel and water polo coach Jovan Vavic, who were "charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering." Former USC women’s soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin and former USC assistant women’s soccer coach Laura Janke "were also charged." USC in a statement said that it "hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing and is conducting an internal investigation." Heinel is "mentioned repeatedly throughout the FBI’s affidavit," as William Singer, the scheme's alleged mastermind, "cites her role to assure parents of the scheme’s reliability"(WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/14). In L.A., Hamilton & Ryan in a front-page piece note over the last decade, USC has been "hit with a series of scandals that have raised fundamental questions about the university culture." The NCAA "slammed the school for violations involving gifts and benefits given by agents to star football player Reggie Bush and basketball player O.J. Mayo." The admissions scheme comes at a time when USC is "trying to move past the scandals and select new leadership" (L.A. TIMES, 3/14).

TIME FOR A SWANN SONG: In L.A., Bill Plaschke writes two scandals that drew FBI investigations having occurred under USC AD Lynn Swann's "careless and chaotic watch." The school's "heart has been damaged, its soul tainted, and it's time for a change." It is time for USC to "retire Lynn Swann and find a real athletic director." Athletics used to be "one of the school’s major selling points," but it is "now an embarrassment." USC’s academic reputation is "spiraling because of athletics, and that’s on Swann" (L.A. TIMES, 3/14).