Rowing Was the Ideal Sport for Stowaways in College Admissions Scandal, Prosecutors Say
Designer J. Mossimo Giannulli and actress Lori Loughlin wanted their daughters to attend USC — so much so, prosecutors say, that they turned to a college admissions consultant known as a miracle worker in rarefied circles of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and the Newport Coast.
William “Rick” Singer had a trusted scam, one he described in federal court last month: He bribed college coaches and administrators to recruit his clients’ children as student athletes. He drew on a number of sports. His clients’ children played water polo, tennis, volleyball, football, basketball, soccer; they sailed, ran track, competed in the pole vault — at least on paper.
But one pastime was particularly suited to Singer’s scheme. According to court documents, when it came to helping Giannulli and Loughlin, he turned to a sport with large rosters, little fan or media scrutiny, and wide latitude in recruiting female athletes — as well as one position that requires little physicality.
He told USC that Giannulli and Loughlin’s daughters rowed crew. They had never rowed competitively, prosecutors say.
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