Do you remember the Olden Days? Remember the days of the Chicken Sandwich Wars and the debate over the origin of the word “quid pro quo” in Latin? Or, the plight of local con artist Anna Delvey and Chris Evans’ cable knit? Let’s find out Where Is Rick Singer Now?
Perhaps the epidemic has rendered my recollection of past events a nebulous, dreamy slurry to the point where I find myself regarding these seminal historical periods as though they happened in another universe.
What I do remember, however, is the subject of a new Netflix documentary of the same name: the FBI sting the feds cleverly named Operation Varsity Blues(opens in new tab).
Almost two years ago today, the scandal was first revealed to the public; it is the type of enjoyable criminal crackdown that allows me to enjoy schadenfreude at the expense of wealthy people who have committed petty, white-collar crimes for their own egos;
I mean, did y’all seriously have to bribe your kids’ way into Stanford, USC, or Georgetown? It’s strange that they didn’t have more faith in their children, and it’s unfortunate that they’re so focused on getting their child into a prominent university even if he or she will probably never work there. However, let me get off-topic.
The Netflix documentary Operation Varsity Blues hit all the notes I remember vividly, from the ridiculous photoshopped images of teens pretending to row crew or play water polo to the endless takes on social media (for better or worse), the involvement of actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, and the sheer ridiculousness of the whole affair.
The story is told through reenactments, interviews with those there, and YouTube videos of high school seniors discussing their experiences applying to colleges.
Where Is Rick Singer Now?
On Wednesday, William “Rick” Singer, the ringleader of the massive college admissions scam dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues,” was given the harshest sentence in the case that has shaken the foundations of higher education in the United States.
The singer was at the center of a fraud in which wealthy parents paid exorbitant sums to have their children’s standardized test scores inflated, bribe university coaches and administrators with sway over admissions, and then lie about the whole thing to authorities.
In March 2019, Singer pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice. Before the case was made public, and for years afterward, he helped the government with its investigation.
On Wednesday in federal court in Boston, Singer expressed regret for his actions and that “winning and keeping score” had taken precedence over his principles.
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What Are Critics Saying About The Documentary?
Writers praised the film’s inclusion of both traditional documentary-style interviews and cinematic re-enactments of wiretapped talks between Singer and his customers after it appeared on Netflix. Critics were impressed that director Chris Smith and writer Jon Karmen dug through hundreds of pages of court documents to reconstruct the damaging phone calls included in the documentary.
Michelle Ruiz of Vogue(opens in new tab) noted that “Modine acting out Singer’s real-life, wiretapped chats with high-powered parents only reveals the entire ridiculous breadth of the largest college-admissions scam in U.S. history” despite their “dramatic (though a touch clichéd) moments.”
The calls between Singer and the disgraced parents detailed their reprehensible scheme in great detail, but critics pointed out that the whole affair was so mundane that it was a reflection of the widespread unethical news and prestige-driven nature of the college admissions process that gave rise to the scandal.
Smith “recreates conversations with Singer and his clients that seem about as intense as ordering a pizza,” wrote Roger Ebert(opens in new tab): “[the documentary] underscores the point that these educations are more about prestige than education.”
Rick Singer may have been the mastermind behind the scheme, but inadvertently he demonstrated that college isn’t always a path to intellectual growth or a springboard to a successful career, even for the wealthy, who don’t rely on the (usually false) promise of upward mobility like middle and low-income students. As simple as bragging that your kid attends the University of Southern California.
What Did Rick Singer Do?
William “Rick” Singer, the company’s CEO, stands at the epicenter of the scandal. After being sacked from his position as head coach at Sacramento State in 1988 following an extremely disappointing campaign, he eventually moved into the field of collegiate counseling.
When he saw that a student might get into college with little effort by bribing a coach or a college sports program and cheating on the SAT or ACT, he changed his once-legitimate business into a criminal enterprise.
Where is Rick Singer today, given his alleged involvement in such massive unlawful wrongdoing, insane greed, and a pile of kickbacks?
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