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College sports scandal hits soccer

Article Written by J.R. Eskilson
Published: March 12, 2019

The United States District Court of Massachusetts announced charges against former Yale women’s soccer head coach Rudy Meredith on Tuesday in one of the most prominent and comprehensive cases as part of the FBI investigation in college admission and bribery scheme. The charges allege that Meredith accepted financial gifts in exchange for helping with the admission of potential students as he designated them as recruits for his team, even though the applicants did not play competitive soccer. 

Meredith resigned from his position as head coach of the Yale women’s soccer team in November of 2018. The charges allege that Meredith accept brides in November of 2017 and April of 2018. 

The charge alleges that Meredith and William Rick Singer engaged in the practice of designating applicants to Yale as recruits to the women’s soccer team in exchange for personal financial gain beginning in 2015. 

The first case that the charges lay out alleges that Singer was approached by a father in November of 2017 who was looking to get his daughter into a top college in exchange for a “donation.” 

Singer sent the resume to Meredith with the note that he would change the applicants’ personal statement, which contained references to her art portfolio, to soccer. 

Meredith designated the applicant as a recruit for the women’s soccer team, even though he was aware she did not play soccer at that level. Singer paid Meredith $400,000 after the applicant was admitted into Yale. The applicant’s family contributed to $1.2 million to Meredith during and after the admissions process. 

The second case against Meredith alleges that Meredith met directly with the father of an applicant in April of 2018 in Boston. Meredith stated in the conversation, which the FBI recorded, that he would designate the applicant as a recruit for the Yale women’s soccer team in exchange for $450,000.

The charges against Meredith are conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud; and honest services wire fraud. 

He is not the only college soccer coach listed in the investigation. Former USC women’s head coach Ali Khosroshahin, former USC assistant coach Laura Janke, and current UCLA men’s soccer head coach Jorge Salcedo are also listed as defendants. 

The case against Khosroshahin, Janke, and Salcedo alleges that Bruce Isackson and Davina Isackson paid an intermediary, who is referred to as a cooperating witness in the charges, to secure their daughter’s admission to USC - her first choice school - as a recruited athlete. 

The case states that the cooperating witness emailed the falsified information to Janke in September of 2015. 

The USC assistant athletic director emailed the women’s soccer coach in February of 2016 stating the application had been sent to the regular admissions process due to a “clerical error.” 

Khosroshahin, who was fired by USC in 2013, sent the falsified application to Salcedo in May of 2016. UCLA’s student-athlete admissions approved the daughter as a provisional applicant for the fall of 2018. 

The case alleges that the cooperating witness directed a payment from a company called Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF) to a sports marketing company controlled by Salcedo in the amount of  $100,000 on July 7, 2016. The cooperating witness also states that KWF issued a check to Khosroshahin in the amount of $25,000. 

There was a player on the UCLA women’s soccer roster briefly in 2017 with the name Lauren Isackson, who listed her parents as Bruce and Davina on her player profile. She is no longer on the UCLA roster. 

Editor's Note: Salceo has been placed on leave, per Ben Bolch with the L.A. Times.

Janke, Khosroshahin, and Salcedo are all charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering. 

Khosroshahin and Janke are also involved in another case in the investigation, which took place in 2012, which helped facilitate the admission of a student to USC as a recruit for the soccer team. There were two donations made to Khosroshahin and Janke’s private soccer club for $100,000 after the admission of the student to USC. She never played for the USC soccer team. 

The case also alleges that Janke falsified the athletic records for another student to help him earn enrollment to USC on the football team.  

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