Women's soccer team embroiled in scandal

Lauren Isackson, whose parents were among those charged in the "Varsity Blues" operation, appeared online as a member of the 2017 team.
5:19 | 03/21/19

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Transcript for Women's soccer team embroiled in scandal
To that new fallout from the college admissions scandal. We're learning about a student whose parents paid her way on to UCLA's soccer team to help her get into the school even though they never ended up playing on the team and kayna Whitworth joins us from usc. Good morning, kayna. Reporter: Hey, Cecilia, good morning. So here at usc the new president said just yesterday that when it comes to admissions, trust is the most important thing. Well, that seems to be missing for students here at usc and several other universities across the country as the integrity of their admissions process and athletic teams is in question this morning. Toward the back post. Reporter: The prestigious UCLA women's soccer team now embroiled in "Operation varsity blues." How about that? Reporter: One player still seen online as a member of the 2017 teal, Lauren Isackson but it shows no stat, not even appearing in this team photo. Her bio touts her as a four-year team captain for her woodside soccer club and 2015 MVP. But their coaching director telling "Gma" he's baffled. I went to UCLA and we haven't had any players from our club recruited to any major colleges up to now so definitely smelled fishy to me, I would say team captain and MVP would be hard to be that of a team that doesn't Reporter: Prosecutors say Isackson had no prior competitive soccer experience and her parents allegedly paid more than $600,000 in bribes through college counselor Rick singer to get both Lauren and her sister admitted to UCLA and usc. Singer allegedly using bogus sports credentials and falsified standardized tests. Getting into the right college will sit the tra correctly for the rest of your son or daughter's life. Reporter: Singer cooperating with the investigation even appearing to wear a wire to the Isackson residence after Bruce Isackson became paranoid saying I can't imagine they'd go to the trouble of tapping my phone but would they tap someone like your phone? In a way it's almost as you feel a little robbed because you worked so hard to get here and they sort of just bought their way into the school. A little frustrating as another -- a fellow student athlete. Reporter: Both daughters still enrolled at theirle schools. Lauren no longer on the soccer team. At usc student leaders seeking more transparency as the embattled university has just named a new president. Do you think the school's reputation is tarnished? I think it's a question for the administration to take a mirror up to their face and decide that for themselves. Reporter: Now she added usc has a reputation of upholding wealth and privilege and at UCLA the investigation is ongoing. Their soccer coach has been placed on leave. As for the Isackson, according to this indictment they had already begun greasing the wheels for their younger son apparently asking singer to, quote, control the testing environment for his entrance exams. Wow, okay. Kayna, thank you. These are just stunning. Let's bring in former federal prosecutor sunny Hostin. Good morning to you. Good morning. I mean, you just sort of shake your head if that's the only thing you can do. How much time do you think these parents are facing? Are they looking at hard time or will they get to cut a deal. The criminal exposure for charges up to 20 years in prison. If you look at the federal sentencing guideline, that sort of breaks down to 12 to 24 months. Any good defense attorney in court is going to say, well, give them about zero to six months and that should be no time served. You got to think about the fact that this has revealed systemic problems. There are real victims here, kids that didn't get into school. So when you're a prosecutor, yes, you sentence so that people get punished but there also has to be this deterrent effect. You have to send a message to society that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated and, remember, there have been cases where you have people of color that -- and women that change their addresses and they get -- because they want their kids to get into a better public school. They get sentenced for months to several years in prison. There can't be an inequity in prison sentences for the wealthy so I think that these parents could and should serve real time in prison. What about the other side of this? We've already seen some of these lawsuits filed by students who say that they were harmed in this. Kids who were not directly affected by the cases but say they've been harmed by this. Is that going to be hard for the government to prove there was this widespread harm at these schools? I don't think so. These aren't victimless crimes. Michael can attest to it. I have a son who is a student athlete. I can't begin to tell you how many ties I've woken up at 4:00 and have driven him to 5:00 A.M. Swim practices. These acceptance rates at these schools are somewhere around 6% to 7%. Think about the student athletes that put in real time that didn't get in to these schools. The coaches just secure a slot for these fraudsters. I don't think it's going to be very difficult to prove. All right, sunny, thank you.

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