Salovey: “Profoundly Dismayed, Disturbed”

Yale President Peter Salovey Tuesday called it “an affront to our university’s deeply held values” that a former soccer coach allegedly participated in a nationwide scheme to help rich kids cheat their way into Yale and other elite schools.

Salovey made the statement in a letter to the university community following the revelations of an FBI investigation into the alleged admissions bribery scheme and arrests of dozens of alleged participants, including the former Yale coach.

The text of Salovey’s letter follows:

To the Yale Community,

I am writing to inform you of a criminal investigation involving an admissions scheme targeting universities nationwide, including Yale. Today the Department of Justice revealed that dozens of individuals have been charged with federal crimes during an ongoing FBI investigation of cheating in college admissions. Individuals allegedly involved in this conspiracy bribed athletic coaches and standardized testing officials to deceive the admissions offices of universities across the country.

As the indictment makes clear, the Department of Justice believes that Yale has been the victim of a crime perpetrated by a former coach who no longer works at the university. We do not believe that any member of the Yale administration or staff other than the charged coach knew about the conspiracy. The university has cooperated fully in the investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case moves forward.

The corrupt behavior alleged by the Department of Justice is an affront to our university’s deeply held values of inclusion and fairness. I want to assure our community that I am committed to making certain the integrity of the admissions and athletic recruitment processes is not undermined again.

As the investigation unfolds, the university may take further actions. I will work closely with our athletics director and dean of undergraduate admissions to make any necessary changes to protect the university from the kind of criminal behavior the Department of Justice described today.

I am profoundly dismayed and disturbed by what we have learned this morning about the alleged actions of a former Yale coach, but these actions do not detract from my pride in the accomplishments and hard work of our student-athletes, athletics program, and admissions staff.

Peter Salovey
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology

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posted by: yim-a on March 12, 2019  7:56pm

They prefer to receive donations directly, so as to ensure proper acceptance and integration of Yale legacy progeny.

posted by: wendy1 on March 12, 2019  11:02pm

Like Salovey doesn’t know the rich have an in when they want it.  If you have enough $$ in this world, you can buy a school or win a case in court.  We all know this.  And frankly I dont blame the parents for trying to give their own children a leg up in this rotten world.

posted by: LivingInNewHaven on March 13, 2019  7:49am

Blah Blah Blah.  The only crime is that they got caught. How else have these portfolios reached billions of dollars?  The wealthy will simply figure out another way to cheat society and maintain their neck hold on the working class. Out right disgusting….nothing will happen to any of those people except book deals and TV rights!

posted by: robn on March 13, 2019  8:28am

Its too bad that the repercussions of these very poor decisions and lazy shortcuts by these ultra wealthy parents are going to fall upon their kids. There’s no way that they could pull this off without the complicity of the kids but the fact that they encouraged them to perpetuate this fraud shows reprehensible parenting.

posted by: RetiredGuy on March 13, 2019  9:55am

Those who are dismayed by this scandal might get a chuckle out of the following:

posted by: 1644 on March 13, 2019  10:14am

Salovey is disturbed that the biases Yale seeks to build into its admissions preferences were distorted.  Yale openly puts a thumb on the scale for various groups:  star athletes, legacies, members of underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, and children and grandchildren of major donors. Paul Bass’s daughter would have gotten a preference, but not as much as a child of Ed or Lee Bass.
robn: These parents are wealthy, but not uber wealthy.  They don’t have Bass or Schwartzman money for a back door ticket as a development admit.  So, they bribe a coach to give them a side door ticket.
Salovey can take comfort in the fact that the side door ticket price for Yale was higher than any other school, even higher-ranked Stanford.  Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this girl had perfect grades and board scores.  But, particularly as an Asian, she needed something more to stand out.

[Paul: Note: I am not a relation of the Bass family that donates to Yale. I think 1644 is referring to the fact that I attended Yale, and the presumption that children of alumni get a preference.]

posted by: RHeerema on March 13, 2019  11:21am

I’m shocked! Shocked to find that gambling is going on in Casablanca! (takes winnings on his way out the door)

posted by: robn on March 13, 2019  1:46pm


Sure Schwartzman makes about $125M a year but I guess I’m old fashioned thinking that (outside of the Forbes 40) people making 8 figures/yr are still ultra rich.

posted by: 1644 on March 13, 2019  2:51pm

Paul:  Yes, that’s exactly what I meant.  Your alma mater and income (990) are openly available on the internet, so I am pretty sure that if the Bass Library is named after you, it was because of your literary achievements, not your donations.  For those not aware, the other Bass family has given multi-millions to Yale, including for renovations of Cross Campus Library, now called Bass Library. Sadly, I do believe it is named after the rich Basses, rather than to honor Paul for his great journalism.

[Paul: Thank you! I did once try to get one of them, a Yale corporation member, on the phone for a story by saying, “It’s Paul ...  Paul Bass!” But it didn’t work.]

posted by: 1644 on March 13, 2019  3:02pm

robn: How quaint, like me being surprised when my nephew looks at his $100 birthday gift in the disparaging way I looked at Grandma’s $5.  (Greedy bastard!).  In the Bay Area, folks making $250K will tell you they are barely getting by, folks making seven figures will say they are doing okay.  People making eight might admit to being rich.  In any case, I doubt Macy and Huffman make eight figures.  They haven’t done much recently.  At least one of these parent sets had to take out a home equity loan to pay the bribe. It may have been the Yale couple.  They had a bit of buyers’ remorse when the had to keep sending $200K “donations” to the ring leader.

posted by: BevHills730 on March 13, 2019  3:30pm

Interesting. Robn always has a word of criticism for working people. Yet he defends the cheating elite.

posted by: George Polk on March 13, 2019  4:01pm

LOL. I wonder if every child/student of celebrity, politician (because they feel they are celebrities) and rich mommy and daddy’s entry to a top school will be questioned and stereotyped as a ...??? What would be the opposite of Affirmative Action students?

posted by: robn on March 13, 2019  4:18pm

uhhhhmmm…Not sure when I was defending the elite. More like the opposite.

posted by: BevHills730 on March 13, 2019  8:14pm

“Its too bad that the repercussions of these very poor decisions and lazy shortcuts by these ultra wealthy parents are going to fall upon their kids.”

Elite kids cheat and Robn shows empathy. Working people sneeze and Robn has criticism.

posted by: robn on March 13, 2019  9:30pm

NHI commenter comments on bad parenting and BEVHILLS pulls out a microscope to find some perceived slight. BEVHILLS must have nothing to do.

posted by: CityYankee on March 14, 2019  5:30am

This is certainly not a real surprise to anyone.  The surprise is that the new was made public!  To connect to other NHI stories— can we all remember that these folks are the ones that New Haven is always groveling to for ideas and studies and “experts”  to save our town and our schools. They rise up to the highest levels of power because of the sheepskin they bought at Ivy Leagues. ( And it’s not just Yale)  Do you really want people with these kinds of values and ethics to tell us how to school our children and how to make NH a success?  Our residents, who have stayed here ; who have dedication and a sense of morality and honor, can do much better than that!

posted by: 1644 on March 14, 2019  7:47am

robn:  In many cases, the students were not aware of the cheating, and certainly not the extent of it.  There are some comical conversations in the legal records such as : “Mom, why do does my advisor think I am on the track team?” Otherwise, the students were at best willfully stupid in the abuse of IDEA and ADA provisions (which subvert meritocracy anyway),  but were rarely aware that someone else was correcting their answers after they submitted them.  Those interested in informing themselves of the facts of this scheme should click on the links to the complaints and indictments found at the bottom of this page:

posted by: 1644 on March 15, 2019  10:59pm

From PS:
“There is strong reason to believe Rudy Meredith provided fraudulent athletic endorsements to two applicants; one was denied admission despite the endorsement, and the other was admitted and is attending Yale. Federal privacy law and Yale policy prevents Yale from revealing the name of either individual to the public.”

The kid that didn’t get in may have been the child of the stock manipulator who blew the lid on the scheme.  If so, if not clear if the student wasn’t admitted because the scheme was blown, or because, as PS implies, even with the endorsement, she didn’t make the cut.