UC Berkeley named in college admissions scandal

ByHeather Tuggle KGO logo
Friday, March 15, 2019
UC Berkeley named in college admissions scandal
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ABC News has learned UC Berkeley is among the universities tied to the nationwide college admissions scandal.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- ABC News has learned UC Berkeley is among the universities tied to the nationwide college admissions scandal.

A former Canadian football player was arrested March 8 in San Jose on charges related to the scandal. David Sidoo is pleading not guilty.

LIST: These Bay Area residents have been charged in alleged college admissions scam

Court documents indicate Sidoo paid $200,000 for someone to take the SAT for his sons in 2011 and 2012.

Sidoo's older son went to Chapman University in Orange County. His younger son, Jordan, went to UC Berkeley.

The 2015 roster for Cal's men's rowing team name's Jordan Sidoo as a team member. A LinkedIn page associated with Jordan Sidoo indicates he graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in history last year and was a member of the varsity rowing team.

RELATED: Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer among several in Bay Area charged in alleged college admissions scam

The LinkedIn page also indicates Jordan Sidoo is pursuing an M.B.A. at Southern New Hampshire University, which offers online degrees.

David Sidoo has temporarily stepped down from two companies in Vancouver, East West Petroleum and Advantage Lithium Corp.

Thirty-three parents are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the coast-to-cost scam to get their children into elite colleges, including Stanford, Yale, Georgetown, Wake Forest and the University of Texas.


University of California President Janet Napolitano released the following statement:

I was deeply troubled and disappointed to learn of the charges filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against several dozen individuals accused of cheating and accepting bribes to gain students' unlawful admission to top universities, including the University of California.
The allegations associated with UC, if proven true, are a disservice to the hardworking and accomplished students and alumni who have earned their place at the university and continue to make us proud.

Illegal, inappropriate and unethical means to gain admission, at the expense of deserving applicants, is antithetical to every aspect of our mission and values. As a public institution - one of the most highly regarded in the world - we are dedicated to ensuring a level playing field for every applicant.

We will take swift and appropriate disciplinary actions to address misconduct once we have all the facts. In the meantime, we:

  • Are investigating any individual affiliated with UC who has been implicated thus far;

  • Initiated a critical review of our admissions policies to look for weaknesses and vulnerabilities;

  • Reached out to The College Board to learn more about its assessment of recent developments and any potential changes regarding the administration of SAT and ACT tests to ensure the integrity of students' scores;

  • Requested the latest available information from the U.S. Attorney offices in California to guide our future proactive action; and

  • Are collaborating with local and federal authorities in this matter to unearth the full breadth and scope of this problem.

It is unfortunate that the unethical behavior of a few individuals colors UC's unwavering commitment to fairness and equity. The university will seize this moment as a valuable opportunity to improve its policies and practices, while continuing to be transparent, accountable and expeditious, as this is our fundamental obligation to our students - prospective, current and alumni - as well as the public. We will uncover the full truth and make things right.

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