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3 USC coaches, administrator indicted in college admissions scandal

At least four former and current USC coaches and athletic administrators were indicted by federal prosecutors Tuesday as part of a wide-ranging college admissions bribery case .
Senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel, water polo coach Jovan Vavic, former women’s soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin and former assistant women’s soccer coach Laura Janke were implicated. They were charged with racketeering.
The alleged scheme was aimed at facilitating the admission of students into USC as recruited athletes, though many of them had falsified athletic credentials. Entrance requirements are often made lower for prospective college athletes.
The indictments were unsealed Tuesday morning in federal court in Boston and included coaches from other prominent universities, including Georgetown, Stanford and Yale. UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo was also indicted .
A statement from USC in response to the indictments read, “USC has not been accused of any wrongdoing and will continue to cooperate fully with the government’s investigation.
“We understand that the government believes that illegal activity was carried out by individuals who went to great lengths to conceal their actions from the university. USC is conducting an internal investigation and will take employment actions as appropriate.”
Heinel and Vavic were stilled listed on the school’s online athletic department directory Tuesday.
RELATED: Actresses Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, college coaches accused in admissions bribery scheme
According to the indictment, Heinel received more than $1.3 million in bribe payments to fabricate the athletic credentials of more than two dozen students seeking admission to USC between 2014 and 2018.
In one instance in December 2017, Heinel received $50,000 from the parents of a student recruited to the Trojans’ women’s crew team with no crew experience. The same parents also donated $200,000 to the Key Worldwide Foundation, a charity in Newport Beach set up by William Rick Singer who was part of the scheme, according to prosecutors.
That student and her older sister, who was admitted under similar circumstances earlier in 2017, are the daughters of clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli and actress Lori Loughlin. They, along with actress Felicity Huffman, were among several people indicted for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud for allegedly attempting to get their kids admitted to the universities under false athletic pretenses.
Heinel is also the senior women’s administrator at the university and one of the highest-ranking members of the athletic department below Athletic Director Lynn Swann and Steve Lopes, the chief operating officer.
The allegations spanned both the tenure of Swann, who was hired in 2016, and Pat Haden, his predecessor who was the athletic director from 2010 to 2016.
Vavic was the Trojans’ most high-profile coach implicated in the scandal.
The indictment alleged Vavic received bribe payments of $250,000 in exchange for designating two students as recruits for the water polo team, assisting their admission to the school.
Vavic, also one of the school’s most accomplished coaches, has led both the men’s and women’s water polo teams to a combined 16 national championships during his tenure, the most team titles of any USC head coach. He first arrived at USC as an assistant men’s water polo coach in 1992, taking over as co-head coach in 1995, and later headed the women’s program following its inception in 1999.
Vavic led the men’s team to an NCAA title in December.
The NCAA said Tuesday it was reviewing the allegations to determine if possible NCAA rules violations were also committed.
“The charges brought forth today are troubling and should be a concern for all of higher education,” an NCAA statement read.
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The involvement of Khosroshahin, the former women’s soccer coach, and Janke, an assistant, came after they received $350,000 for their private soccer club in exchange for designating four students as recruits.
Khosroshahin coached the Trojans from 2007 to 2013, guiding the Trojans to the NCAA title in his first season. He went 82-53-15 in seven seasons before he and his staff, including Janke, were terminated Nov. 8, 2013.
According to his LinkedIn account, Khosroshahin is the owner of the Newport Futbol Club of the United Premier Soccer League. Last year, he was brought on as a technical adviser for United Women’s Soccer’s Santa Clarita Blue Heat.
Janke is listed as the Physical Education Department Chair & Educator for the Geffen Academy at UCLA.

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