A hefty bill.
Those who have plead guilty to crimes associated with the college admissions scandal have been rolling into court for the past few months to receive their sentences. The scandal burst into view last winter when charges were brought against parents who had bribed university officials in order to get their children accepted. Famous names have graced the headlines including, Aunt Becky and founder of surf-adjacent brand Mossimo, Mossimo, Felicity Huffman though not her husband William H. Macy and less famous but equally rich including Kelly Slater’s ex-business partner and one-time World Surf League executive Jefferey Bizzack whom, in a 2017 Tracks interview, Kelly referred to as “…partner in everything I’ve done in the past few years… I’ve been the face of it but Jeff is just the bones and structure of everything that we’ve done.”
According to The Los Angeles Times:
Like 11 parents who have pleaded guilty and were sentenced before him, Bizzack admitted conspiring with William “Rick” Singer, a Newport Beach consultant who fixed SAT and ACT tests for his clients’ children and passed them off as top recruits for sports they didn’t actually play.
Bizzack — a former executive for the World Surf League, the clothing company Outerknown and the Kelly Slater Wave Co. — met Singer (the mastermind in April 2017, after being introduced by a mutual friend, according to a report prepared by a probation officer.
Just a few months later, prosecutors wrote in a memorandum, the two had agreed to tap what Singer called his “side door” at USC — a scheme that required bribing coaches or school officials to usher in his clients’ children as phony athletic recruits.
Singer tasked a former USC coach with creating a bogus recruiting profile for Bizzack’s son, which depicted the boy as a “nationally ranked volleyball player, high school team captain and starting setter, and the recipient of a number of league awards,” Kristen Kearney, an assistant U.S. attorney, wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
Because Bizzack’s son didn’t play volleyball competitively, his profile featured a picture of someone else playing the sport.
For his crime, Bizzack, sentenced yesterday, received 2 months jail time, a fine of $250,000 and 300 hours of community service and…I’m going to be real honest here. This whole college admissions thing has confused me greatly from the start. USC, most often referred to as the University of Spoiled Children, is a private school very popular amongst wealthy southern Californians.
How is this behavior not par for their course? I mean, it ain’t like Bizzack’s kid stole a volleyball scholarship from a deserving inner-city youth or a spot in the Freshman class of ’19. I’m sure he got zero scholarship and, furthermore, his dad paid a ton of money to the university along with Rick Singer for his boy to attend. USC lets anyone with money right through those brick gates, especially big donors.
Now, I get our current “eat the rich” climate and am not defending this sort of lazy, entitled behavior but… can someone please explain how this is not business as usual for the 1%ers and especially at USC?
Is this truly shocking behavior?
Also, will Kelly Slater and/or the World Surf League release a statement defending their bro or is Santa Monica’s finest astride a very high horse furiously tsk-tsking? Every headline includes the phrase “Surfing executive” or “World Surf League” or Kelly Slater’s ex-partner.”
A bit hard to ignore and not release some sort of statement, no?