Eric Hyman said he was stunned to learn of the college admissions scandal. In more than 30 years of working as an athletic director of college sports, from Virginia Military Institute to Texas A&M, he’d never heard of someone outright buying a position on a team.
But that is the reality of a college admissions bribery scandal that helped children of wealthy parents enter numerous elite educational institutions, like Yale University, Stanford University and the University of Southern California. Students’ parents essentially purchased slots for them on teams that play nonrevenue college sports that appeal to families with higher incomes — like crew, soccer or lacrosse.
“One of the issues here is whether people at the top of the universities bear some responsibility,” said Kenneth Shropshire, the Adidas distinguished professor of global sport and CEO of the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University. “If this was the English department or history department or the music department, would it stop there with the professor or would you look to the person ultimately in charge?”
And many more athletic departments could be susceptible to this kind of fraud, Shropshire said, as long as coaches have the power to provide a list of students that they want admitted to the institution without anyone second guessing their choices.
But some noted that major academic institutions cannot micromanage their massive athletic departments.