Apr 8, 2022 - Sports

Former USC coach found guilty in college admissions scandal

Jovan Vavic
Jovan Vavic, former water polo coach at the University of Southern California, leaves following his arraignment at Boston Federal Court on March 25, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A former University of Southern California water polo coach on Friday was found guilty of taking bribes to facilitate the acceptance of applicants as athletic recruits.

Why it matters: Jovan Vavic, who led the USC men's and women's water polo teams to 16 national championships, is the only coach implicated in the so-called Operation Varsity Blues investigation to stand trial instead of taking a guilty plea, according to the New York Times.

The big picture: The FBI's Operation Varsity Blues investigation revealed in 2019 that numerous wealthy parents had paid thousands of dollars in bribes to coaches at elite colleges to designate their children as athletic recruits and facilitate their acceptance, despite a lack of athletic experience.

Driving the news: A federal jury in Boston found Vavic guilty on all counts, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachussetts said on Twitter.

  • Prosecutors said Vavic received more than $200,000 in bribes from William Singer, a college admissions consultant, in exchange for accepting recruits, according to the New York Times.
  • Singer pleaded guilty in 2019 to facilitating cheating on college entrance exams and bribing officials to help secure the admission of his client's children as phony athlets, per Reuters.
Go deeper