TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona State University is being roped into a college admissions scandal involving several high-profile defendants, but not in the way you might think.
Dozens of coaches, college prep executives and parents -- including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman -- were named in a massive federal indictment Tuesday involving a scheme using bribes and false information to get some students into elite colleges.
The indictment alleges parents bribed coaches through college admissions consultants in exchange for athletic scholarships, regardless of the students' athletic ability. The charges also say the consultants coordinated others to take ACT and SAT exams on the students' behalf.
The indictment only mentions eight colleges by name involving the admissions scandals, but not ASU. The college's name only appears in the indictment via an alleged email to a recruiter from Mossimo Giannulli -- wealthy founder of the Mossimo fashion brand and Loughlin's husband. In it, Giannulli tells the recruiter he wants to make sure they "have a roadmap for success as it relates to [our daughter] and getting her into a school other than ASU!"
In a statement, ASU said, in part, it had "no comment on a glib, uninformed remark."
"Some universities have decided the most important thing they can do is turn away deserving, qualified applicants just so they can seem more exclusive," the school said, later adding that they're focused on "creating an accessible university that also achieves the highest levels of academic excellence."
ASU alumni and faculty sounded off on Twitter, as well.
.@ASU took a "chance" on me. Due to circumstances, grades were the least of my worries as a kid. ASU included me, supported me & it changed my life. I'm not a millionaire nor am I well known. But when my life is over, I'll know damn well I impacted this community & made it better— Chris Tatsumi (@ctatsumi) March 12, 2019
ASU has long been made fun of for it’s ‘low’ admission standards, but that also means that if, for instance, your SAT scores aren’t the best or you failed math or you aren’t the ideal college applicant on paper, you still have an opportunity to get a good college education.— A.S. Paul (@aspaul) March 12, 2019
Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Arizona senator, had strong words on the comment as well:
To Aunt Becky's husband who talked shit about ASU - The @McCainInstitute for International Leadership does incredible work w/ students in cooperation with ASU and I guarantee those students involved will go on to do great things in the world and didn't have to lie to get there...— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) March 12, 2019
The University of Arizona was not involved in the indictment.
Here's the full statement from an ASU:
"ASU has no comment on a glib, uninformed remark.
"But underlying this is something important that deserves attention: Some universities have decided the most important thing they can do is turn away deserving, qualified applicants just so they can seem more exclusive. That leads to perverse incentives and perverse actions, as we are witnessing unfold right now.
"At ASU we believe that it is also a recipe for disaster for our country, which is why we have worked so hard to achieve what some once thought impossible: creating an accessible university that also achieves the highest levels of academic excellence.
"And a note to potential Sun Devils: You can apply any time — no shenanigans needed."