Yesterday, word broke of a major collegiate recruiting scandal - but not the kind we’re used to hearing about around these parts. Hollywood celebrities like Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were placed under arrest after it was discovered they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to sneak their unqualified children into elite universities or USC.
There were a number of admissions backdoors identified, including the especially scurrilous abuse of testing protocols intended for students with disabilities. But one of the most standout methods involved sneaking students into schools on fraudulent athletics scholarships, for sports they didn’t even play.
Thanks to an open records request, the crack investigative team here at Every Day Should Be Saturday has obtained a transcript of a conversation in one of these cases, recorded in late 2016.
PARENT #1: So you think you can pull this off?
BAGMAN: Yes. Now, let’s recap for the record exactly what we’re doing, so we’re both clear.
PARENT: Are you recording this? Did you flip to federal investigators and now you’re trying to roll me up in order to earn clemency?
BAGMAN: No, of course not. Now, speak clearly into the phone about our plans. The illegal ones.
PARENT: Okay. So, my garbage son.
BAGMAN: Let the record state that his son is indeed garbage.
PARENT: He lacks focus in life. I’m a prominent member of my community, and I just want what’s best for my garbage son, but he definitely does not have the qualifications required for the universities he wants to attend.
BAGMAN: Go on.
PARENT: So, [redacted], in exchange for a payment of $500,000, is going to help place my garbage son in the athletic department of a major university.
GARBAGE SON [in background of call]: somewhere with hot babes Dad
PARENT: Preferably in a desirable locale.
GARBAGE SON: AND A BEACH
PARENT: [audible sigh]
BAGMAN: That’s right. So I, as your intermediary here, I’ve reviewed the list of potential destinations that you’ve requested. I’m going to be frank with you — some of these aren’t going to work.
PARENT: I thought you were supposed to be the best money could buy!
BAGMAN: If you want the best money could buy, slap your name on a university building and get your kid in the legal shitty way. I’m what you can afford.
PARENT: Fair enough.
BAGMAN: Now, the first thing on the list here is “quarterback at Florida”. I’m not going to lie - I’ve placed a few kids in this over the years. It’s gotten moderately tougher under the new regime, though. I want to leave this one be for a year or two. We can revisit it.
BAGMAN: Next, you have “water polo at Miami”.
PARENT: That’s right.
BAGMAN: And you’ve included a picture of him playing water polo.
PARENT: Listen, he put that together himself-
BAGMAN: You know there’s not supposed to be a horse.
PARENT: [quietly] yes.
BAGMAN: Did the horse dr-
PARENT: Let’s move on.
BAGMAN: Next, we have “skateboard tricks at Boobs University?”
PARENT [away from phone]: Hey! I told you not to add stuff to the list without asking me!
GARBAGE SON [in background]: I WANNA GO THERE.
BAGMAN: To be clear, that’s not a real university. Now, I did inquire at Arizona State, but their skateboard tricks program is actually quite competitive.
PARENT: Oh, right, the Rad Devils.
BAGMAN: They’re extremely rad. You also put “long snapper at Notre Dame”?
PARENT: I know he’s small, but I figure he could pass as a long snapper.
BAGMAN: I got into this job for honorable reasons, sir. I have the skills and the connections to get failsons and faildaughters of moderate-but-not-obscene wealth into some of the best universities in the country, and also USC, but you’re asking too much of me here. This goes entirely against my code of professional ethics.
BAGMAN: I will not ask anyone to attend Notre Dame.
PARENT: You’re right.
BAGMAN: Just a terrible place.
PARENT: I know.
BAGMAN: It’s like if you put Duke in Indiana.
PARENT: I’m sorry for suggesting that.
BAGMAN: Why would anyone put Duke in Indiana.
PARENT: So, are you able to place him anywhere?
BAGMAN: This has been a tough one. He lacks the social media skills and charm some of these celebrity children. He’s burned a lot of bridges. I wasn’t able to get a top-tier university, but I did find one where we can fit him in.
GARBAGE SON [has picked up other phone]: Is there a beach?
BAGMAN: Yes, there is.
PARENT: Line it up.
BAGMAN: I think you’re going to be very pleased with where we got your son, Monte.
MONTE KIFFIN: Just get him out of my house.