Thursday, March 14, 2019

Say It Ain’t So Joe, Say It Ain’t So!

In 1919, a gambling syndicate led by Arnold Rothstein bribed players on the Chicago White Sox to throw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds.  This became known as the Black Sox scandal.  Gambling on baseball remains so abhorrent that to this day Pete Rose, who had the most hits in baseball history, but who gambled on the outcome of games, has been blocked from Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

On the centennial of the Black Sox scandal comes another bribery scandal, this one for admission to elite universities.  On March 12, 2019, the Department of Justice, after an investigation involving 300 FBI agents, handed down charges against 37 parents who indirectly paid up to $6.5 million in bribes to nine college coaches, two SAT and ACT exam administrators, one exam proctor, and one college administrator between 2011 and  2018.  The schools are a Who’s Who of elite universities, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, USC, UCLA, Wake Forest, and UT-Austin.

University leaders said they were appalled and disgusted.  Each professed, in Sergeant Shultz’s words, “I know nothing.”  The named coaches in the DOJ complaint were immediately suspended or terminated.

Wow!  Who knew that the paragons of virtue, morality, diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and equality can be bribed and bought?!  Or is just a case of rogue coaches?

Pay to row?  Pay to sail?  Pay to swim?  Pay to hit a tennis ball?  Pay to kick a soccer ball?  Pay to hit a volleyball?  For students who never played these sports or played them poorly?

One good thing, though.  This will go down as the rich White academic scandal.

Say it ain’t so Joe, say it ain’t so!

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