Former NFL great Joe Montana admitted this week that he used the company at the center of the college admissions scandal, but said none of his kids cheated to get into college and instead all gained admittance on their merit.
On Friday, Montana admitting using the company founded by William “Rick” Singer that is accused of faking test scores and creating fake backgrounds for children of the wealthy to get into elite colleges and universities. Montana took to Twitter to say he was one of many who used the Edge College & Career Network to help his children navigate the college admissions process, but said they ultimately got in through their “hard work and merit.”
“Mr. Singer’s company provided nothing more than minimal consulting services to our family, like so many other families, with the college application process,” Montana tweeted.
“Fortunately our kids were able to pick from a number of schools to attend due to their hard work and their merit. Thanks,” he added.
As People magazine noted, others have come forward to admit using Singer’s company but without cheating to get into college. PGA golfer Phil Mickelson also said he sought guidance from the company, but also did not cheat to help his children get into college.
Federal investigators this week laid out details of the scheme and named 50 people, including Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin and fellow actress Felicity Huffman, who are both facing federal fraud charges. Others named included top officials at prestigious universities and CEOs of private and public companies.
As investigators laid out, there were two parts to the scheme. Singer’s company helped to correct answers on college prep tests, and also bribed college coaches to admit students as recruited athletes, even if they did not compete in that sport, CNN reported. In Loughlin’s case, the company helped to take fake pictures of her daughter in a boat to gain admittance as a crew athlete. Some parents paid up to $6.5 million to have their children falsely admitted into elite colleges, investigators revealed.
“This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud,” said Andrew Lelling, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts. “There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy, and I’ll add that there will not be a separate criminal justice system either.”
No students were charged in the college admission scheme, investigators said.