USC is one of the universities implicated in Operation Varsity Blues. (Los Angeles Times)
Marymount High School

Opinion: The effect of ‘Operation Varsity Blues’ on current high school students

In today’s political world, lies, cheating and backdoor negotiations seem to be the norm. Now, the United States federal prosecutors have revealed that this kind of behavior has occurred on prominent college campuses in a cheating scandal nicknamed “Operation Varsity Blues.” Parents paid admissions consultant Rick Singer to get their children into top-notch colleges. A list has been released that names coaches who helped these students get into schools by placing them onto athletic teams, which helped guarantee their admittance.

This scandal pressures colleges to question the truth of students’ applications and admittances. After years of pulling all nighters in order to excel in school, dealing with torrential rains during soccer games and sitting in massive traffic on the way to community service events, high school students like me are faced with the fear that no one will believe our stories. Did I actually deserve the grades I have achieved? Did I play the sports I say I played? Did I take my own ACT exam? Will colleges be able to distinguish between the honorable and the deplorable?

Unfortunately, it is hard to be surprised that individuals tried to use their money, power and fame for their children’s gain. It is more disheartening to find out that coaches many people have looked up to for their experience and leadership were also part of this conspiracy. Coaches can play a big part of a young person’s life. They can influence their decisions not only in the sport that they play but also in life, which is why they should have a duty to uphold a certain standard of ethics given the position of admiration that they put themselves in.

As John Wooden said, “A Coach must never forget that he is a leader and not merely a person with authority.” It seems that some coaches forgot or ignored the pivotal role they play.

This scandal will lead to massive distrust of the application process and some of the people involved with that process, including the athletic coaches. Hopefully, the majority of the college admissions system, which is made up of ethical and honorable people, will continue to use the incredibly intricate college application system to achieve positive, fair outcomes for those involved.