We learned in recent months that the extent of pedophilia and sex abuse among Catholic clergy, and the church hierarchy coverup, was much more extensive than we had previously thought, and we may still have not got close to the heart of that matter. I’m wondering if we may find out something similar with the scandal that broke this week about buying admissions to elite colleges.
Although the current indictment is limited to 33 parents and a handful of colleges, does anyone think this behavior only occurred within this relatively small circle? There’s this detail in the Wall Street Journal story today:
Prosecutors said the plot attracted parents from affluent communities in California: Del Mar, Newport Beach, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Atherton, Mill Valley and Palo Alto; and in the east, Greenwich, Conn., and New York City. The families spanned Silicon Valley to Hollywood to Wall Street. . .
Greg Abbott, CEO of International Dispensing Corp. , told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that he and his wife had heard about Mr. Singer through a network of New York City mothers: “They all say he’s the best.”
I’m guessing these word-of-mouth referrals go well beyond the pool of parents and institutions identified this week. I think congressional hearings and transparent audits of athletic admissions at Princeton, Duke, and on down the line are warranted.
Then there’s this detail in the Chronicle of Higher Education story today concerning Georgetown University’s corrupt soccer coach Gordon Ernst, who is alleged to have taken $2.7 million in bribes to allocate admission spots on the Georgetown tennis team for non-athletes:
Tuesday’s news may prompt colleges to discuss new methods of oversight. Georgetown placed Ernst on leave in 2017 after an internal investigation found that he had “violated university rules concerning admissions.” (The University of Rhode Island subsequently hired Ernst as women’s tennis coach before placing him on leave on Tuesday.)
After that investigation, Georgetown instituted a new policy on athlete admissions. The university will now conduct audits “periodically” to make sure students recruited as athletes are actually on the rosters of the team that recruited them.
In other words, it appears Georgetown found out about Ernst’s scheme, swept it under the rug, and did not raise a red flag with the University of Rhode Island when they hired Ernst. Just like the Catholic bishops and Cardinals who reassigned pedophile priests.
Combined with the scandal of deliberate discrimination against Asian applicants emerging from the Harvard litigation, you can expect public respect for universities to take another big hit.