PGA Tour pro Phil Mickelson said on Thursday that his family hired the tutoring company at the center of the college admissions scandal that has wrapped up Hollywood actors Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman to help his children in the college admissions process.
He denied participating in the alleged fraud perpetrated by William “Rick” Singer’s Key World Foundation described to wealthy parents seeking his services as “the side door” to college admission.
Mickelson ‘shocked’ by college fraud scandal
“Our family, along with thousands of others, used Rick Singer’s company to guide us through the college admissions process,” Mickelson wrote on Twitter. “We are shocked by the revelations of these events. Obviously, we were not part of this fraud, our kids would disown us if we ever tried to interfere.”
Loughlin and Huffman have both been indicted and arrested on fraud charges related to the $25 million scandal for allegedly paying bribes to get their children into elite universities.
Loughlin is accused of paying $500,000 to have her two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team even though they were not crew athletes. Huffman stands accused of paying $15,000 in the guise of a charitable donation to have her and her husband William H. Macy’s 18-year-old daughter Sophia’s SAT answers corrected in a “controlled” testing environment.
Stars react to Hollywood college scandal
Stars react to Hollywood college scandal
does this look real? we are trying to get into harvard @jenatkinhair @mrmikerosenthal @johnlegend https://t.co/jpcNGq2mVi
I’m learning some new ones as we speak. Stay tuned. https://t.co/ftJjYtMUxt
2 actresses get most attention for college admissions cheating scandal. Yet 48 others were charged, too. Coache… https://t.co/0wHhXApCiC
all the people involved in this college scam should have gathered their money and started a small elite college whe… https://t.co/xpJicaMdXY
If only there was a succinct turn of phrase these kids could have used to inform their parents they were not desiro… https://t.co/DZfRr1GRjJ
So I am fascinated with this college entrance bribery scam. What is wrong with people? It’s like social media. Ever… https://t.co/mRkaErhLG9
I literally said this on @tmz page. Donating a building is a form of bribery. I guess knowing someone is too but t… https://t.co/hGl6IzKtYT
BREAKING NEWS: ENTRANCE INTO COLLEGE UNJUST, TILTED IN FAVOR OF WHITE KIDS WITH RICH PARENTS.
#AuntBecky going to jail on Rico charges.... 🤦🏾♀️ https://t.co/B89kzDePf7
TERI HATCHER GOT ME INTO BROWN
JUDITH LIGHT GOT ME WAIT LISTED AT TUFTS
I got into college the old fashioned way: by letting my father’s celebrity speak for itself.
As we are all processing the insane advantage money gave some in the college process, it’s worth noting the far gre… https://t.co/vIrShhjCD9
I got into Harvard against long odds via hard work and perseverance. Neither of my parents went to college, we didn… https://t.co/d4iQhjfyVX
For starters as a mom of a kid who worked her ass off to get into @USC I’ve got lots of feelings about all of these… https://t.co/D7i4pt9hjj
Operation Varsity Blues 🤣🤣🤣🤣
I guess they're are like, "Hey, even though we're the FBI, we still know how to have a good time."
No such thing as White Privilege?
then how about,
Rich White Privilege🤷🏻♂️
Teach your kids the benefits of hardwor… https://t.co/jhVHYYucZn
Dibs on playing Felicity Huffman in the Lifetime movie about this mess
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Mickelson: Singer came ‘highly recommended’
Mickelson expanded on his Twitter post after Thursday’s round at The Players Championship, emphasizing that he did not participate in fraud or make any illegal contributions.
“We along with thousands of other families hired his company to help guide us through the college application process,” Mickelson told reporters. “We’re probably more shocked than anyone. We’ve been dealing with it the last few days.”
Mickelson’s oldest daughter Amanda is a sophomore at Brown University. His younger daughter Sophia and son Evan are in high school.
He told reporters that he hired Singer on the recommendation of friends.
“He was highly recommended by numerous friends that checked out, so we ended up using him,” Mickelson said. “Where he and his company were helpful was helping our kids, who have such different personalities, to find the best place for them. And then knowing going in what you need to do academically, score-wise, to be able to get there.”
"He was a slick talker and people believed him," Sacramento guidance counselor Jill Newman told the Associated Press of Singer. "But every high school counselor in the area knew about him. He was sneaky from the get-go.”
Mickelson reiterated that he and his friends were all surprised at the charges facing Singer.
“Our kids are, schools are like fighting to get them. And I say that as a proud dad. Their grades and their outside activities, and their worldly views on things have colleges recruiting them. We’re not a part of this. Most every family that has used the company is not a part of it. So that’s why I think we’re all surprised.”
Phil Mickelson throughout his career
Phil Mickelson throughout his career
CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 14: Phil Mickelson yells four after teeing off on the 16th hole during round one at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 14, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson watches the ball fly during a NCAA golfing event.
21 Feb 1993: Phil Mickelson lines up a putt during the 1993 Buick Invitational at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in Torrey Pines, California. Mandatory Credit: Gary Newkirk /Allsport
24 Feb 1995: Phil Mickelson looks on during the Nissan Los Angeles Open at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, California.
27 Jan 1996: Phil Mickelson of the USA drives at the 17th hole during the final round of the Phoenix Open at the TPC of Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mickelson defeated Justin Leonard in a three-hole playoff. Mandatory Credit: Simon P. Barnett/Alls
9 Feb 1996: Golfer Phil Mickelson takes to the green during competition at the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, CaliforniaCalifornia. Mickelson finished 17 under par for a 271. Davis Love III won the tournament by two strokes
8 Feb 1996: Phil Mickelson swings at the ball during the Buick Invitational in San Diego, California.
31 Jan 1998: Phil Mickelson during the AT&T National Pro-Am at Spyglass Golf Course in Pebble Beach, California. Mandatory Credit: Craig Jones /Allsport
23 Aug 1997: Phil Mickelson hugs Amy Mickelson at the NEC World Series of Golf at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. Greg Norman went on to win the tournament.
10 Apr 1999: Phil Mickelson of the USA plays out the bunker during the 1999 US Masters at the Augusta National GC in Augusta, Georgia, USA. \ Mandatory Credit: Craig Jones /Allsport
18 Aug 2000: Phil Mickelson follows his drive during the PGA Championship, part of the PGA Tour at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport
25 Jan 2001: A silhouette of a golfer during the Phoenix open at the TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona.Mandatory Credit: Jon Ferrey /Allsport
8 Apr 2001: Phil Mickelson of the USA lines up a putt on the 4th green during the final day of the 2001 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA, USA.....DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Munday/ALLSPORT
15 Jun 2001: Phil Mickelson hits a long drive during the 101st US Open at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.Mandatory Credit: Jamie Squire /Allsport
29 Nov 2001: Phil Mickelson plays golf at Whisper Rock, a course that he designed in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mandatory Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC - APRIL 20: Phil Mickelson pulls a club during the third round of the WorldCom Classic at Harbour Town GL in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina on April 19, 2002. (Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images)
GULLANE, SCOTLAND - JULY 16: Phil Mickelson of the USA waits to play his shot during the practice round for the 131st Open Championships at Muirfield Golf Club, Gullane, Scotland on July 16, 2002. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
THOMASTOWN - 19 SEPTEMBER: Phil Mickelson of the USA hits his approach to the second green during the first round of the World Golf Championships: American Express Championship at Mount Juliet Estate in Thomastown, Kilkenny, Ireland on September 19, 2002. (photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO - DECEMBER 14: (L-R) Phil Mickelson of USA celebrates his birdie on the 1st hole with David Toms of USA during the third round of the EMC World Cup at the Vista Vallarta Club de Golf on December 14, 2002 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
OLYMPIA FIELDS, IL - JUNE 13: Phil Mickelson reacts to a missed putt during the second round of the 2003 US Open on the North Course at the Olympia Fields Country Club on June 13, 2003, Olympia Fields, Illinois. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
SANDWICH, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Phil Mickelson of the USA plays out from a bunker on the 16th hole during the first round of the Open Championship at the Royal St George's course on July 17, 2003 in Sandwich, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, UNITED STATES: Phil Mickelson (L) of the US receives the green jacket from 2003 Champion Mike Weir (R) of Canada at the awards ceremony after Mickelson made the birdie putt the 18th green during the final round of the Masters Golf Tournament 11 April 2004 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA. Mickelson won the tournament at nine under par. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson checks the wind at Whistling Straits, site of the 86th PGA Championship in Haven, Wisconsin August 12, 2004. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 13: Phil Mickelson during the final round of the 2005 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Club in Pebble Beach, California on February 13, 2005. Mickelson won the event by four strokes at -19 par. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MAMARONECK, NY - JUNE 15: Phil Mickelson hits a tee shot on the 15th hole during the first round of the 2006 US Open Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club on June 15, 2006 in Mamaroneck, New York. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 09: Phil Mickelson is presented the green jacket by Tiger Woods after his 7-under par victory during the Final Round of The Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 9, 2006 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - AUGUST 28: Phil Mickelson of the USA speaks to the press during a USA Team Practice prior to the 2006 Ryder Cup at The K Club on August 28, 2006 in Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 13: Phil Mickelson of the USA holds the trophy after the final round of THE PLAYERS held on the Stadium Course at The TPC Sawgrass, on May 13, 2007 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - NOVEMBER 15: Phil Mickelson of USA in action during the 3rd round of the Barclays Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club on November 15, 2008 in Singapore. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)