UCLA soccer coach steps down amid college admission scandal bribery allegations

A UCLA soccer coach resigned Thursday after being accused of accepting a $100,000 bribe to add a real estate developer’s daughter to the university’s women’s soccer team roster despite her having no prior competitive soccer experience.

Jorge Salcedo stepped down from his position as UCLA men’s soccer coach after allegedly taking a bribe to recruit Lauren Isackson onto the women’s soccer team to ensure her acceptance into the university, UCLA athletic department spokesperson Shana Wilson told the New York Post.

Isackson was listed on the UCLA soccer team in 2017 as a midfielder despite never playing the sport competitively and never playing a match while on the UCLA team, prosecutors argued.

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Salcedo now faces conspiracy to commit racketeering charges after allegedly being paid $100,000 by a sports marketing company run by Wiliam “Rick” Singer. The alleged mastermind behind the college admission scandal, Singer ran the New Port Beach college prep business, Edge & Career Network, which was accused of creating fake profiles for college applicants.

Salcedo was charged along with nearly 50 other people Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and insiders at testing centers to get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said.

Salcedo was charged along with nearly 50 other people Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and insiders at testing centers to get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Isackson’s father, real-estate developer Bruce Isackson, also allegedly gifted Singer 2,150 shares of Facebook stock valued at $251,249 in 2016 in exchange for his daughter’s admission into UCLA.

Isackson’s father reportedly originally wanted his daughter to attend the University of Southern California. After Isackson’s father allegedly paid the USC coach $25,000, Singer’s contacts at the school accidentally sent her application through the normal admissions process. Singer then passed Isackson’s name to UCLA’s Salcedo, prosecutors allege.

Isackson’s bio on UCLA women’s soccer team website said she was team captain at Woodside Soccer Club from 2012 to 2016, but the club denied those claims when asked by the Los Angeles Times.

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“Nobody remembers this girl’s name,” Zak Ibsen, Woodside Soccer Club’s director of coaching, told the Los Angeles Times. “Smells fishy to me.”

Salcedo originally joined the UCLA soccer team as a ball boy before winning a national championship playing on the team in the 1990s. As coach, he carried the team through 14 NCAA tournaments and national championships in 2006 and 2014.