Rowers Surya Murthy, Ally Stein Rip USC Admissions Scandal; Stein Feels 'Robbed'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2019

New Zealand's team competes in the final of the Women's Eight at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press

Surya Murthy and Ally Stein, former members of the Redwood Scullers rowing club, are surprised by the lack of research done by the USC admission department that allegedly allowed rich families to purchase entrance to the college with bogus rowing claims.

On Sunday, Nancy Dillon of the New York Daily News provided comments from Murthy and Stein, who said the false assertions would have been easily disproved with even a minimal amount of effort.

"That was a straight-up lie. They weren't even trying," Murthy said, noting the Redwood Scullers didn't feature a varsity 8 stroke boat as claimed by Bay Area businessman Bruce Isackson for his daughter. "I thought that was almost hilarious. We never had a varsity 8. There's no background checking for that?"

Murthy added it's "pretty shocking" Olivia Jade Giannulli, the daughter of actress Lori Loughlin, was admitted to USC as a crew member without checking into her background. Her profile listed her as a member of the L.A. Marina Club rowing team, but no such club appears to exist, per Dillon.

Stein, who no longer competes in rowing, told the New York Post she hopes pressure from their parents is the only reason the kids accepted the college spots on false pretenses.

"I feel robbed, but mostly for my friends who stopped getting recruited to USC in the final rounds," she said.

Holly Yan of CNN reported 50 people were involved in the admissions scheme, which included cheating on standardized testing in addition to bribing coaches and school officials to accept a student to a sports team even if the student hadn't played that sport.

Last Monday, USC announced it had "placed holds on the accounts of students who may be associated with the alleged admissions scheme" until it completed a review.


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