Ex-Coach: UCLA Routinely Admitted Non-Athletes | Athletic Business

Ex-Coach: UCLA Routinely Admitted Non-Athletes

Lawyers for former UCLA soccer coach Jorge Salcedo filed a motion on Thursday accusing the university of admitting “under-qualified” prospective student-athletes in order to raise money. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, the motion seeks to subpoena documents from both UCLA and the University of California. Salcedo’s lawyers believe the documents will prove that the school leveraged its athletic department for corrupt ends — either to win donations from wealthy parents, or to boost team grade-point averages by admitting non-athletes as sports recruits.

“UCLA’s own internal documents reveal that, for many years, its Athletic Department has facilitated the admission of unqualified applicants — students who do not meet UCLA’s rigorous academic or athletics standards — through the student-athlete admissions process in exchange for huge ‘donations’ by the students’ wealthy parents,” the motion said.

“These documents, which UCLA did not disclose to the government before this prosecution, tell a compelling behind-the-scenes story, one that undermines the Superseding Indictment’s narrative by definitely proving that UCLA is not a victim of a fraud scheme.”

Salcedo was one of several collegiate coaches caught up in the nationwide admissions scandal known as “Varsity Blues,” though he was the only UCLA coach implicated. He was arrested by the FBI, and resigned from his position in March. 

Prosecutors allege that Salcedo accepted bribes to help two students get into UCLA as soccer recruits, despite the fact that they did not play the sport. He faces five charges, but has pleaded not guilty.

The motion seeks documents from an internal UCLA investigation into the admission of two students as athletes in other sports. The Times reports that that investigation found that there was a student who was recruited as a track and field athlete despite not posting competitive times because her parents had given $100,000 to the athletic department. Another student was admitted to the university as a water polo player, despite not playing the sport.

UCLA issued a statement regarding the motion, claiming that it was inaccurate and left out details regarding steps taken since the internal investigation to help improve the situation, according to the Daily Bruin.

“Yesterday’s motion is a false and misleading effort by the criminal defense team for former men’s soccer head coach Jorge Salcedo to defend him against serious criminal charges based on information that has already been widely reported and addressed by UCLA,” the statement read. “The filing contains misleading assertions and notably omits that UCLA Athletics implemented a number of policies and practices aimed at strengthening the student-athlete admissions process immediately following the 2014 investigation. The government has alleged that Salcedo got around these policies by helping submit a false athletic resume to the University.”

AB Show 2022 in Orlando
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Learn More
AB Show
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide