PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida – PGA Tour golfer Phil Mickelson confirmed Thursday that he and his wife, Amy, had hired William Singer and his for-profit university tutoring company to prepare their children for the admission process. and college selection.
Mickelson, who spoke after his first round at the Players Championship, said everything had been done over the table and that neither he nor his family had ever made financial contributions to the Singer's. Key World Foundation.
"We, along with thousands of other families, have engaged him and his company to guide us through the college application process," said Mickelson. "We are as shocked as everyone in recent days."
Earlier this week, federal authorities announced that Singer had orchestrated a major corruption project aimed at getting students into elite universities as recruited athletes and helping them cheat during exams from entrance to the university. He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of racketeering conspiracy, prosecutors said.
Singer led Edge College & Career Network, a for-profit consulting and preparation company in Newport Beach, California. He identified and recruited coaches willing to accept bribes from parents of potential students to help them enter elite universities.
According to federal prosecutors, from 2011 to February 2019, Singer allegedly conspired with other people to facilitate fraud on the ACT and SAT exams in exchange for bribes by making sure that a third party secretly perform the test instead of the students or replace the students. & # 39; responds with his own.
Singer also retained the services of clients willing to pay bribes to college coaches and administrators to allow the admission of their children. The coaches would have designated the students as rookies of competitive sports teams, regardless of their athletic abilities, to facilitate their admission. Singer and others have concealed the bribe payments by channeling money through Singer 's charitable organization.
"We are not part of that," Mickelson said of the corruption and cheating ploy. "Most of the families who hired her business were not part of it, I think that's why we're all so surprised."
Mickelson's eldest daughter, Amanda, is an undergraduate student at Brown University. She graduated from Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, California, and was captain of the club's tennis and lacrosse teams. Mickelson's youngest children, his daughter Sophia and his son Evan, are still in high school.
"Our kids, schools are like fighting to get them," said Mickelson. "I say that as a proud daddy, colleges recruit them, their grades, their outside activities, and their secular beliefs. [Singer and his company] Helped us throughout the process as it can be confusing. "
Edge College & Career Network has published a testimonial from Mickelson and his wife on his company's website. Mickelson said it was a thank you note that his wife wrote to Singer for helping her in their children's academic career.