Dr. Phil apologizes for insulting Slippery Rock University when discussing college admissions scandal

Dr. Phil McGraw issued a heartfelt apology to Slippery Rock University for comments he made about the status-obsessed parents at the center of the nationwide college admissions scandal.

Last week, McGraw told People Live that he believes the parents allegedly involved in the bribery and cheating scandals — a group of wealthy families including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman — were more obsessed with their own images than with their kids' actual schooling.

"They're not buying their kids an education. That's not what it's about. I don't think it has anything to do with the education," McGraw said. "I think this is jewelry for a lot of these people. Their kids are leaving high school, they don't want to say, 'My kids are going to the junior college.' They say, 'My kid's going to Harvard. My kid's going to USC or Yale.' I think it's bragging rights for them. They don't want to be the one parent who says, 'Yeah, my kid's going to Slippery Rock.'"

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That didn't sit well with Slippery Rock University. The Pennsylvania college's president, William Behre, responded to McGraw's comments in an open letter posted on Facebook.

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“We suspect that you didn’t mean that as a compliment, but we take it as one anyway,” the letter read in part. “As a graduate of Midwestern State College and the University of North Texas, Dr. Phil, you know that choosing a regional public school is anything but a hollow search for bragging rights at a reception after the Country Club’s Memorial Day Golf Outing,” it added. “For less than the price tag of your lovely ’57 Chevy Bel Air Convertible, Slippery Rock University students can secure an education that will change the trajectory of their lives.”

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McGraw was entirely contrite about the remark, responding in kind in a letter that the university posted on the school's Facebook page.

“It was from ignorance, not intention, that I made the comment, as I was unaware of your school and intended to use a fictitious example," McGraw wrote. "One hundred percent my mistake. I have since educated myself about SRU and could not be more impressed with your fine institution."

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He added, “Slippery Rock University certainly deserves no slight from me or anyone else, intended or otherwise. I wish SRU nothing but the best.”