Phil Mickelson hired tutoring firm in college admissions scandal for his children

PGA Tour pro Phil Mickelson said on Thursday that his family hired the tutoring company at the center of the college admissions scandal that has wrapped up Hollywood actors Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman to help his children in the college admissions process.

He denied participating in the alleged fraud perpetrated by William “Rick” Singer’s Key World Foundation described to wealthy parents seeking his services as “the side door” to college admission.

Mickelson ‘shocked’ by college fraud scandal

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

Loughlin and Huffman have both been indicted and arrested on fraud charges related to the $25 million scandal for allegedly paying bribes to get their children into elite universities.

Loughlin is accused of paying $500,000 to have her two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team even though they were not crew athletes. Huffman stands accused of paying $15,000 in the guise of a charitable donation to have her and her husband William H. Macy’s 18-year-old daughter Sophia’s SAT answers corrected in a “controlled” testing environment.

Joe Montana admits connection to Singer too

Shortly after Mickelson announced his ties to Singer, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana did the same in a similar statement on Twitter.

“Mr. Singer's company provided nothing more than minimal consulting services to our family, like so many other families, with the college application process,” Montana wrote. “Fortunately our kids were able to pick from a number of schools to attend due to their hard work and their merit. Thanks.”

Phil Mickelson is "shocked" that the tutor he hired is facing racketeering and money laundering charges related to a college admissions scandal. (Getty)
Phil Mickelson is "shocked" that the tutor he hired is facing racketeering and money laundering charges related to a college admissions scandal. (Getty)

Mickelson: Singer came ‘highly recommended’

Mickelson expanded on his Twitter post after Thursday’s round at The Players Championship, emphasizing that he did not participate in fraud or make any illegal contributions.

“We along with thousands of other families hired his company to help guide us through the college application process,” Mickelson told reporters. “We’re probably more shocked than anyone. We’ve been dealing with it the last few days.”

Mickelson’s oldest daughter Amanda is a sophomore at Brown University. His younger daughter Sophia and son Evan are in high school.

He told reporters that he hired Singer on the recommendation of friends.

“He was highly recommended by numerous friends that checked out, so we ended up using him,” Mickelson said. “Where he and his company were helpful was helping our kids, who have such different personalities, to find the best place for them. And then knowing going in what you need to do academically, score-wise, to be able to get there.”

Singer pleaded guilty to multiple felonies

Singer pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of racketeering, money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

"He was a slick talker and people believed him," Sacramento guidance counselor Jill Newman told the Associated Press of Singer. "But every high school counselor in the area knew about him. He was sneaky from the get-go.”

Mickelson reiterated that he and his friends were all surprised at the charges facing Singer.

“Our kids are, schools are like fighting to get them. And I say that as a proud dad. Their grades and their outside activities, and their worldly views on things have colleges recruiting them. We’re not a part of this. Most every family that has used the company is not a part of it. So that’s why I think we’re all surprised.”

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