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UCLA Men's Soccer: Jorge Salcedo to Plead Guilty
The former Bruins soccer coach will be going to prison. Now, a bigger question looms....
(Photo credit: UCLA Athletics/uclabruins.com)
It looks like former UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo will be trading in his UCLA Stripe for prison stripes, according to a report from Matthew Ormseth in the LA Times. Salcedo has agreed to enter a guilty plea on charges of conspiring to commit racketeering.
The LA Times reports:
In his plea agreement, which Salcedo signed Sunday, prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston said they would recommend a sentence at the low end of a guideline range that calls for 24 to 30 months in federal prison. Salcedo agreed to forfeit $200,000, the sum he pocketed from two families whose children were admitted to UCLA as phony soccer players, prosecutors have alleged.
The deal comes after the parents of both students Salcedo helped get admitted to UCLA accepted pleas of their own. Bruce and Davina Isackson have each pled guilty to fraud, money laundering and tax charges and are cooperating with the government. The Isacksons paid Rick Singer $250,000 of which $100,000 was paid for Salcedo’s assistance in getting their daughter Lauren into UCLA.
In 2018, Salcedo helped the son of Xiaoning Sui gain entrance to UCLA in return for another $100,000. Ormseth writes:
Sui’s son was approved for admission and awarded a 25% athletic scholarship, despite the fact the boy did not play soccer. Sui has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit fraud and international money laundering.
Sui pled guilty in February.
With the parents of both students pleading guilty, it’s likely that Salcedo and his attorneys saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to accept the best possible deal rather than trying to fight the charges with his purported defense which included allegations first reported by the LA Times that Senior Associate AD Josh Rebholz was involved in a similar cash-for-admission scheme to admit a donor’s child as a track recruit.
Of course, the big difference between the two is that Salcedo profited personally while the Athletic Department benefited from the donation. That difference doesn’t change the fact that both schemes were corrupt. In fact, the Daily Bruin wrote an editorial condemning both schemes:
There’s no mincing words: This is straight-up bribery. And the fact that it was permitted and even allegedly encouraged by administrators makes it obvious UCLA is comically corrupt.
There is one difference, at least at this point.
Salcedo is going to prison while Josh Rebholz remains in the mix for a possible promotion. It’s got to make you wonder about Gene Block’s “leadership.”
UCLA will be getting a new Athletic Director soon. Will the search committee condone this type of behavior or will they do the right thing and go outside of Westwood for new leadership?
We’ll find out soon.
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