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Phil Mickelson denounces college bribery scandal, says he worked with Rick Singer's company  1 Week ago

Source:   USA Today  

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida — Phil Mickelson is no stranger to making national news.

For now, he’s only part of the college admissions scandal — a.k.a Operation Varsity Blues — because he made himself a subject by issuing a statement about his family’s use of Rick Singer’s Edge College & Career Network.

While acknowledging he worked with the company at the center of an alleged multi-million dollar college admissions bribery scheme, Mickelson denounced the company’s founder Rick Singer and says he was not part of any fraudulent activity.

Following a 74 in The Players Championship on Thursday afternoon, Mickelson tweeted out a statement about the Singer network seemingly before a connection was revealed.

“Our family along with thousands of others, used Rick Singer’s company to guide us through the college admission process,” he wrote. “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.”

The “obvious” component would be apparent only to those who have seen the Mickelson children at golf tournaments over the years. His oldest daughter attends Brown, while his 17-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son are anything but clones of their parents, always exuding a quiet and respectful independence reflecting the very best of Phil and Amy Mickelson.

No, the Mickelson kids are everything the proud dad noted when he finally emerged to talk to reporters.

“Our kids are, schools are like fighting to get them,” Mickelson said in a report filed by GolfChannel.com’s Will Gray. “And I say that as a proud dad. Their grades and their outside activities, and their worldly views on things have colleges recruiting them."

Mickelson forcefully denied that his children would need the nefarious and expensive means allegedly used by Singer to get high school students admitted to schools like USC and Yale.

Singer, a California businessman who ran a college prep center and nonprofit foundation —  the Key Worldwide Foundation — was at the center of the hundreds of pages of court documents released Tuesday when federal prosecutors announced details of the bribery scheme. 

The documents allege Singer received payments from various wealthy and famous clients in exchange for finding spots for their children in prestigious universities.

Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are two of the high-profile names indicted   alongside CEOs, lawyers and Division I college coaches and administrators. Loughlin was dropped by Crown Media, the parent company for The Hallmark Channel, on Thursday.

Loughlin is married to Mossimo Giannulli, the founder of the GFore brand. Giannulli faces a charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

“We’re not a part of this," Mickelson said. "Most every family that has used the company is not a part of it. So that’s why I think we’re all surprised.”

Even more surprising was Mickelson’s determination to get out in front of a big story. He’s avoided media center interview rooms at all costs since an insider trading case arose in 2016 and after last year’s Shinnecock Hills debacle, during which he took days to realize an apology would remedy what was the least-becoming on-course moment of his storied career.

For a change, Phil Mickelson made news for the right reasons.

 

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