Former UCLA coach likely to avoid jail time

by J.R. Eskilson
July 28, 2020
Former UCLA coach likely to avoid jail time

Former UCLA men’s soccer head coach Jorge Salcedo entered a guilty plea on Monday in connection with his role in the “Varsity Blues” scandal that rocked the college athletics world last year. 

Salcedo admitted to receiving $200,000 in bribes to help two students gain admittance to UCLA. The first documented incident was in 2016 when Salcedo assisted William ‘Rick’ Singer and others in getting Davina and Bruce Isackson’s daughter into UCLA. Salcedo convinced the women’s soccer coaching staff to include her as a preferred walk-on for that year’s recruiting class. The court documents describe how Salcedo was able to pull off the unfair admissions for the student. 

“When UCLA compliance officers questioned how the Isacksons’ daughter was discovered and whether she actually played soccer, Salcedo created a fake backstory about how he learned about the Isacksons’ daughter through a club team coach. Around June 29, 2016, UCLA provisionally admitted the Isacksons’ daughter as a recruited walk-on for the women’s soccer team. For his part in the deal, Salcedo received $100,000 of the $250,000 that the Isacksons paid Singer.”

The other incident was in 2018 for the son of Xiaoning Sui. Salcedo said that he had seen Sui’s son play in China - despite the young man not playing soccer competitively - and offered him a 25% scholarship. Sui’s son was admitted to UCLA and Salcedo was paid $100,000 of the $400,000 that Sui paid Singer. 

Salcedo was recorded in a conversation to recruit another student in Nov. of 2018. The former UCLA coach agreed that he could get another student into UCLA in exchange for $100,000. 

“According to the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence at the low end of the sentencing guidelines, one year of supervised release, a fine, forfeiture in the amount of $200,000 and restitution.,” the US Department of Justice said in a press release on Monday. 

Salcedo is not the only college soccer coach to get wrapped up in the Varsity Blues scandal. Former USC women’s soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin is cooperating with the government’s investigation after pleading guilty to his role in getting students admitting to Southern California. Former Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith has yet to be sentenced after pleading guilty in 2019 and have his sentencing last June canceled and not rescheduled. Meredith asked permission from the court to move to Florida in March and take a job in construction. 

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