WAG UCLA joins the college scandals

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ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
6,339
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Excluding participation in the sport you are admitted for. Seriously a gymnast should be and actual gymnast. A crew person should have done crew. In high school.

But beyond that athletic teams music programs, etc... fill based on their needs. It’s subjective. Demographics are a factor, in state vs out of state, and a bunch of other things.

You are great tackle but the football team needs running backs. They may recruit what looks to be a lesser skilled player.

You are a great violinist but the orchestra really needs viola or bass players. And you are out. And perhaps a “lesser” viola or bass player gets a spot.

L9 vs L10 who knows. Maybe the college is familiar with the gym of the L9 kid and feels they would fit better based on how they trained over the years. May be the coach met the L10 and thought her and or her parents were high maintenance or didn’t have the maturity they were looking for. Or just rubbed the coach the wrong way.,

Happens all the time, even in professional sports. How many times have you seen a guy released from a pro team because of “fit” issues that thrives elsewhere.

L10 or Elite is no guarantee.

And when they want you they will find a way. Some wiggle room on SATs. Some academic money in a Div 3 school.
 
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gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,550
If we are to take the info in the article as fact, then the adults involved did "fake" this young lady's profile, stating she had potential, that she trained at a club where no one remembers her, where she has no record of ever competing. That is a major issue for all involved. While I understand that theoretically the walk-on spots are unlimited, in reality this is not true. Each additional athlete costs the team money - Athletic gear/apparel, travel costs, food. No, it may not be much in the grand scheme but it does go against their budget - especially for teams who are not revenue neutral (I assume UCLA is actually revenue positive but I am speaking generally). And as others have mentioned, a situation like this takes a spot from another applicant - either a more competent gymnast, who may have an actual shot of competing at some point, or just another academic applicant who is more qualified, if the person in question didn't bypass the regular process.
 

gymgal

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Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,550
As for the L9, at least she has a record of competing. Who knows - she may be training some great skills, just haven't put them together yet or her other events are not L10 ready. Also, she is still 2 years away from graduating. That's a long time to develop.
 
D

Deleted member 14190

Even if walk-on spots are unlimited, the number of seats in UCLA's freshman class is not. If this student was given acceptance to UCLA via "less strigent" athletic requirements when the student is not, in fact, an athlete - then this student DID take a seat from another qualified UCLA applicant. I'm less concerned about the gymnastics roster as I am the fact that admission standards were potentially compromised.
Two ways to think about it, your way, which I can see and could agree with . Or.... if a child gets admitted to UCLA vs ASU or Boise , what difference does it make . Guys are we really that picky about admittance that we are going to pick on one spot and ignore the thousands of international students and athletes that are soaking up scholarships to the same schools? State schools to boot ! Come on guys , focus on the much much much bigger problem out there , not the one spot that was granted with no money behind it ....
 
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claudidoll

Proud Parent
Sep 10, 2012
345
Two ways to think about it, your way, which I can see and could agree with . Or.... if a child gets admitted to UCLA vs ASU or Boise , what difference does it make . Guys are we really that picky about admittance that we are going to pick on one spot and ignore the thousands of international students and athletes that are soaking up scholarships to the same schools? State schools to boot ! Come on guys , focus on the much much much bigger problem out there , not the one spot that was granted with no money behind it ....
Tons of American students take spots in other countries schools... goes both ways and for the most part I believe the benefits international students bring to a school are hard to quantify. Speaking as a Canadian who attend college in the states and a gym mon whose child has NCAA aspirations
 
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suebee

Proud Parent
Dec 6, 2012
378
I don’t know much about college athletics and recruiting, but until I read the linked article, I was always under the impression that a walk-on was someone who was *not* recruited, meaning the student did not receive any help or advantage from the coach in the admissions process and got into the college on their own, without support from the coach. And I thought D1 recruited athletes (except for Ivies, that don’t do athletic scholarships) got some scholarship money as well as some advantage in the admissions process. I thought a walk-on, once admitted on their own, could talk to the coach about joining the team. I have heard some high school athletes (not in gymnastics, though) say that a coach could support them in admissions as a recruit, but if they got into the college, the coach would be happy to have them as a walk-on.

The article seems to say that this manager, along with some other connected kids, got some advantages in the admissions process, related to their so-called athletic ability (or potential, in this case).

So do walk-ons get an advantage in the admissions process from the coach?
 

josie55

Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2015
342
I am not particularly bothered by a high level, high value coach getting a "perk" of being able to bump someone to the top of the admissions pile every now and again (assuming they're academically qualified, which I'm assuming this student was.) That type of thing, for better or worse, happens a lot throughout our society. What does bother me is what strikes me as dishonesty, as reflected in the quotes in the article that try to make the case for it being normal for someone who hasn't done gymnastics and who "seems to have potential" in one event being put on the team as a gymnast... I would have rather she said: "As the coach, I get to decide who will add value to the team in whatever way I think is needed and in this case, I felt this student is an outstanding individual and would make an excellent assistant manager." I guess it's the seeming dishonesty that's disappointing to me, especially considering the source, whom I admire. :-(
 
D

Deleted member 14190

Tons of American students take spots in other countries schools... goes both ways and for the most part I believe the benefits international students bring to a school are hard to quantify. Speaking as a Canadian who attend college in the states and a gym mon whose child has NCAA aspirations
American students have to pay for college or get scholarships. So when international students get scholarships for sports it’s a bigger deal to me than some kid getting a walk on and no money. That is all I am saying .
 
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flippin out

Proud Parent
Sep 26, 2011
656
Not speaking for all D1, but o know my own dd (recruited walk on at a D1) did not get any help getting into the university academically. She actually put in her admissions application as soon as she had an unofficial there (it was her top choice school). Now admittedly her school does not have this “14% of the 110,000 applying” scenario. It was a month or so after she was accepted into the school (and more than a year before she graduated HS) that she was offered a spot on the team.

As to the issue where some have said that a team can put on an endless amount of walk ins on their team....that is patently false at her school. All spots are recruited spots and they only allow X number on the team due to budget and athlete on floor restrictions. Every team member costs money out of budget in clothing, travel, etc. and while that may be “a drop in the bucket” to some programs that is a serious issue on most teams. I can not speak for UCLA budget and whether they are comfortable allowing 30 girls on a team if they so choose....but they seem to keep approx 18-20 girls (which is average and in keeping with a lot of schools). So....still saying that the girl in question took a valid spot from an actual athlete.

If VCF wanted her as a team manager then be honest, have her apply to admissions and then put her on as team manager. I’d be behind that and say good for her and great for the team. Don’t lie and put her on a roster for 1 year pretending she is an athlete. That’s just shady as hell ....especially when combined with the son of former gym coach that she “suggested” be recruited to the golf team even though he’s never played golf, so that he could then become team manager.......seeing a nasty pattern
 

mommyof1

Proud Parent
Jan 31, 2012
2,536
The car
Two ways to think about it, your way, which I can see and could agree with . Or.... if a child gets admitted to UCLA vs ASU or Boise , what difference does it make . Guys are we really that picky about admittance that we are going to pick on one spot and ignore the thousands of international students and athletes that are soaking up scholarships to the same schools? State schools to boot ! Come on guys , focus on the much much much bigger problem out there , not the one spot that was granted with no money behind it ....

A huge issue with the University of California system is the fact that it's getting more and more difficult for in-state students to get in as the university increasingly goes after out-of-state students who pay much higher tuition. I don't think that negates the apparent unfairness of this scenario, in which a student who appears not to be an actual athlete received preferential treatment on account of the contribution she was supposed to make to an athletic team. The University of California is a public university funded by California taxpayers to educate California's top high school graduates, and at least back when I was a kid there was a strong public perception that admissions decisions were much more objective than private school admissions and not dependent upon personal connections. I think that's why this story bothers people so much.
 

profmom

Proud Parent
Nov 18, 2011
9,461
Region 7
The in-state admit rate for UCLA in 2018 was around 12%. For out-of-state applicants, it was almost 23%. If the individual in question did not meet the regular admission criteria, someone who did got shafted.

(Sidebar: before all you Californians go crazy on me, keep two things in mind: a higher proportion of CA residents, of course, will take a flyer on UCLA than your rando out-of-staters. The out-of-staters who apply to UCLA are by and large going to be a more competitive group in the admissions game because they are more likely to be looking at the metrics and are generally of an economic and social background for which going to an elite, out-of-state school is expected. But yes, most state schools will admit out-of-staters who can pay full freight to help their bottom lines.)

Oh, one more hobby horse; apologies for the derail, but the last stats I can find illustrate that the state of CA provides approximately 7% of UCLA's operating budget. This is not unusual. If you hate the fact that your public university is chasing out-of-state dollars and focusing excessively on hiring administrators to do fundraising, take it up with your state legislature.
 

mommyof1

Proud Parent
Jan 31, 2012
2,536
The car
Oh, one more hobby horse; apologies for the derail, but the last stats I can find illustrate that the state of CA provides approximately 7% of UCLA's operating budget. This is not unusual. If you hate the fact that your public university is chasing out-of-state dollars and focusing excessively on hiring administrators to do fundraising, take it up with your state legislature.

It's CA--how about a ballot proposition?
 
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Kelly99

Proud Parent
Apr 10, 2018
25
46
It's not just gymnastics: "In 2014, UCLA’s student newspaper quoted Kondos Field as saying she suggested the school’s golf coach add the son of former Bruins gymnastics coach Jerry Tomlinson. He hired Kondos Field as an assistant coach at UCLA in 1983. Tomlinson’s son, Cory, was listed on UCLA’s golf roster for the 2010-11 season, though there is no record that he played. Joel Wittenberg, the golf coach since 2006 at Trabuco Hills High in Mission Viejo where Tomlinson attended, told The Times he had never heard of him. Cory Tomlinson worked as a UCLA gymnastics manager from 2010 through 2014."

He is not listed on the NCAA roster for that year (or any other), so he didn't compete on the golf team. The golf coach at his high school said he didn't play there. A quick Google search on my part didn't turn up any local junior golf tournament play. D1 golf is HUGE and again, if they misrepresented him as a player to get an edge on the admissions progress and possibly taking away a spot on the golf team from a more qualified player, that is icky.
 

Muddlethru

Proud Parent
Mar 16, 2011
3,536
Two ways to think about it, your way, which I can see and could agree with . Or.... if a child gets admitted to UCLA vs ASU or Boise , what difference does it make . Guys are we really that picky about admittance that we are going to pick on one spot and ignore the thousands of international students and athletes that are soaking up scholarships to the same schools? State schools to boot ! Come on guys , focus on the much much much bigger problem out there , not the one spot that was granted with no money behind it ....

It does make a difference coachp when a child is admitted into a highly ranked, highly coveted, highly selective, highly academic school. UCLA is one of the top schools of the country and actually of the world. The college admission scandal involved the highly competitive schools for a reason. People wouldn’t be willing to illegally gain admission to anything less than the best schools. If the gymnast did not take a spot away from another well deserved gymnast, she did take a spot from another qualified academic student; both working their butts off for years.

But I do agree with you that a college coach can fill their team in whichever way they please IF it was indeed for the benefit of the team. But based on the article alone does not seem to be the case here.

The only way I see this as acceptable is if she gained admission on her own merits and was included in the roster thereafter.

That said, life is not always fair.
 

mommyof1

Proud Parent
Jan 31, 2012
2,536
The car
It does make a difference coachp when a child is admitted into a highly ranked, highly coveted, highly selective, highly academic school. UCLA is one of the top schools of the country and actually of the world. The college admission scandal involved the highly competitive schools for a reason. People wouldn’t be willing to illegally gain admission to anything less than the best schools. If the gymnast did not take a spot away from another well deserved gymnast, she did take a spot from another qualified academic student; both working their butts off for years.

But I do agree with you that a college coach can fill their team in whichever way they please IF it was indeed for the benefit of the team. But based on the article alone does not seem to be the case here.

The only way I see this as acceptable is if she gained admission on her own merits and was included in the roster thereafter.

That said, life is not always fair.

This. It’s more about the appearance that the student took a seat in the freshman class from a more academically qualified student than about the spot on the gymnastics team roster.
 
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collegegymmom2

Proud Parent
Jun 24, 2019
3
50
It also raises the question about Miss Val's retirement. Interesting timing, don't ya think? I think she was aware of what was about to go down in terms of the whole admissions scandal and now knowing she could have been involved to some degree....
 
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D

Deleted member 14190

It also raises the question about Miss Val's retirement. Interesting timing, don't ya think? I think she was aware of what was about to go down in terms of the whole admissions scandal and now knowing she could have been involved to some degree....
I can assure you Val isn’t running or retiring from this.
 
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doublestrike

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Jun 16, 2018
176
58
It also raises the question about Miss Val's retirement. Interesting timing, don't ya think? I think she was aware of what was about to go down in terms of the whole admissions scandal and now knowing she could have been involved to some degree....
She announced her retirement way before the Varsity Blues scandal came out, and this is so minor compared to paying $500k to a school administrator (not the school itself) to get your own child in the school or faking test scores. And, frankly, working as a team manager is not easy, its a huge time commitment. I would think the coach should be able to choose who their team managers since they are around the coaches and team a lot. Lying about her vault, is a stretch, but other than that I just don't get how anybody can compare this situation to the federal case.
 

tomtnt

Proud Parent
May 26, 2010
526
YES- how many walk-ons a coach can support depends on the profile of the coach, the profile of the program, and the quality of the university in question.


So do walk-ons get an advantage in the admissions process from the coach?
 
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