Celebrities like Lori Loughlin became infamous for paying their way into having their children be accepted to colleges like USC. This was done through altering entrance tests and bribing officials to get their kids onto athletic teams they weren’t actually qualified for.
Now, an old tweet from the USC Women’s Rowing team from last year has been going viral this week for the exact wrong reason.
— USC Women's Rowing (@USCWomensRowing) August 17, 2018
Loughlin and her husband Mossimo have been accused of paying $500,000 to get their daughters into USC as rowing recruits. This is despite the fact that neither of their daughters are athletes, much less rowers.
With that bit in mind, the above tweet appears shockingly blatant.
The tweet tries to recruit new athletes, asking,
“Want to become a Division I athlete?”
It then invites students to look at the rowing team. It shares a poster, proudly advertising,
“No previous rowing experience necessary.”
No experience, huh? How much will I have to pay?
It missing how much it will cost you LOL
— Magdalena (@magdalena1914) May 5, 2019
Remember to bring your checkbook or credit card.
— Ricardo Tapia (@tampastani) May 6, 2019
All you need is money to be included
— #weldoncannon1 (@weldoncannon1) May 6, 2019
There have been a few people defending the advertisement for the team.
To start, rowing is not a common sport for teenagers. Inviting them to try out without experience is common to get new athletes to discover the sport.
Additionally, this tryout would have been for kids who had already gotten into USC, rather than those trying to get in. It’s unlikely this was how they recruited desperate parents.
And of course, some USC rowers have to deal with this kind of teasing daily now.
— 78tiger (@78tiger) May 6, 2019
I feel bad for the actual team members because yes they probably do need people to actually try out for the team and now it's a joke , because of greedy celebrities and rich people. Just not right.
— deedee1128 (@deedeeb1128) May 6, 2019
This is, unsurprisingly, a ridiculously uninformed take by TMZ. College rowing teams regularly seek athletes wth no prior rowing experience, because it's not a common high school sport. TMZ should stay in its lane, which is basically nothing. https://t.co/qC0Fw1yreC
— James (@JamesAMcGhee) May 5, 2019
However, the jokes aren’t aimed at the kids, or anyone interested in rowing. They’re aimed squarely at the people who tried to game the system.
Rowing experience may not be necessary, but being an athlete usually is. Also, actually trying out is leagues better than just paying $500,000 to have someone declare your daughter a rower.
And if we don’t make fun of this prescient poster, how can we get Full House jokes like this?
Tax season just rolled around, I may have the money to make the team! pic.twitter.com/2c2QIF5WUU
— Mario Alejandro (@TheWaxHeaven) May 6, 2019
It has been months since this story broke, but somehow, pointing out that Aunt Becky bought her daughter’s way into a college education is still funny.
This was a horrifying abuse of power and wealth that goes unchecked by those with more money on a daily basis, but it’s a little funny that Aunt Becky got caught.
And maybe in the future, USC will review how it admits students, so women’s rowing teams aren’t caught in the crossfire.