PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla .– PGA Tour golfer Phil Mickelson affirmed Thursday that he and his wife Amy William Singer and his for-profit tutoring firm hired Mickelson to prepare their children for the college admissions and selection process After his inauguration at The Players Championship, he said everything had gone overboard and neither he nor his family had ever made financial contributions to the Singer's Key World Foundation.
"We, along with thousands of other families, hired him and his company to guide us through the college application process," Mickelson said. "We are just as shocked in the last few days as everyone else."
Earlier in the week, federal agencies announced that Singer had organized a massive bribe program to bring students as recruited athletes to elite universities and help them cheat on entrance examinations at universities admission. He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges, including attacks on the plot, prosecutors said.
Singer ran the Edge College & Career Network, a for-profit college consulting and preparation firm in Newport Beach, California. He identified and recruited trainers who were willing to accept bribes from parents of prospective students to help them get into elite universities.
According to the prosecution, Singer is said to have conspired with others from 201
Singer also kept customers who were willing to pay the bribe bribe to coaches and college administrators to get approval for their children. The coaches allegedly named the students recruits for competitive sports teams, regardless of their athletic ability, to facilitate their admission. Singer and others masked the bribe payments by sponsoring the money through Singer's charity.
"We are not part of it," Mickelson said about the bribe and the fraud program. "Most families who hired his company were not involved, so I think that's why we're all so surprised."
Mickelson's eldest daughter Amanda is a student at Brown University. She graduated from the Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, California, where she was the captain of the tennis and lacrosse teams. Mickelson's younger children, daughter Sophia and son Evan, are still in high school.
"Our kids, schools are struggling to get them," Mickelson said. "I say this as a proud father, their grades, their outward activities, and their worldly beliefs are things that are recruited by colleges. [Singer and his company] helped us throughout the process because it can be confusing."
Edge College & Career Network publishes a testimonial from Mickelson and his wife on the company's website. Mickelson said it was a thank-you letter his wife had written to Singer for helping them with their children's academic careers.