A Follow Up On Operation Varsity Blues

The Aftermath of the College Scandal

A Follow Up On Operation Varsity Blues

Quinn Hughes, Staff Writer

Last year, a scandal broke loose across the nation: Operation Varsity Blues. This is the college admissions scandal that grabbed the top headlines for weeks through much of 2019. A slew of wealthy and famous parents cheated to buy their kids into college.

They paid exorbitant amounts of money for SAT tutors to take their children’s tests for them, and some parents hired professional photographers who staged the children playing a school sport to gain admission through scholarship. Trading on celebrity and wealth, these parents boosted their kids over the other possible applicants in tighter financial situations with no celebrity advantages.

Two of the biggest names involved in this scandal are Felicity Huffman, who “donated” $15,000 to a test-taker to take the place of her daughter on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) but pled guilty, and Lori Loughlin, who pled not guilty to charges that she paid $500,000 and sent in posed pictures of her daughters rowing to help the family fraudulently apply for a scholarship to the University of Southern California’s crew team.

The girls had no training nor interest in the sport, and have since dropped out, from embarrassment after their parents’ indictments. Loughlin and her husband subsequently had more charges filed against them for several different cases of bribery and money laundering.

Loughlin’s trial has not yet begun and at this point in time it looks more and more like she and her husband are being made examples of this entire scandal. Huffman already served her two weeks of jail time and has since begun her resurgence, accepting and embracing her community service, pride wounded, moving forward.

Huffman has gained back some of her supporters and seems to be on a path with a clearer victory in sight, especially after admitting she was wrong. On the flipside Loughlin has not admitted to any wrongdoing, but there is speculation that she regrets pleading not guilty and might have considered a guilty plea had her husband and lawyers not pushed back so hard. Time will tell what this decision may cost Loughlin and her family.

If Loughlin is found guilty, she and her husband both could be sentenced to 2-3 years in prison for fraud, bribery and money laundering. However, according to legal analyst Dan Abrams, Louglin and her husband, Gianulli, should be facing 50-60 years in prison, but they are not facing nearly as much time for reasons hidden from the public.  

Operation Varsity Blues is certainly an example that poor decision making can catch up with anyone, regardless of wealth or fame.