Tag Archives: college admission scandal

Has justice really been delivered to Felicity Huffman?

I’ve been pretty quiet about the school admitting scandal that has swallowed the careers of two prominent Hollywood entertainers: Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman. Of course, there have been many others caught up in this scandal.

I have been trying to come to grips with the sentence handed down to Huffman. To be totally candid, I am having trouble believing justice was really delivered to this individual.

She arranged for her daughter to get admitted to a university; she arranged to manipulate her SAT score. She paid some huckster a five-figure sum to assist in this travesty.

What did she get? Fourteen days in prison; a $30,000 fine; a year of supervised release; a term of community service.

Why just 14 days? That’s weird, in my humble view. It seems the sentence might as well have been for 20 minutes in the slammer.

Her lawyers argued she didn’t deserve any time, as it was her “first offense.” Huffman has been contrite. She apologized to the court, to her husband — actor William H. Macy — her daughter, to the world.

Loughlin, meanwhile, has stood by her innocence, challenging the system to put her on trial.

Huffman told the judge she would “try to live a more honest life.” When someone says they’ll “try” to do something, I often take that as a sort of code that they cannot promise to actually carry through with a rock-solid pledge.

There’s just something so very token about a two-week prison sentence. I am unclear what the judge is seeking to do with a wrist-slap on the arm of a wealthy actress.

Let’s just say that other “first offenders” have gotten far worse punishments for far less crimes.

Trying to grasp the college admission scandal

With all the other news stories that are crashing around us, I am having a bit of trouble wrapping my arms around what ought to be the biggest story of the year.

The college admission scandal! It involves wealthy Americans — including at least two prominent TV and film entertainers — shelling out big money to get their children admitted to prestigious universities.

I keep returning to this thought . . .

Suppose you’re a student who has applied to a university and you are denied admission. Your grades are good enough. Your SAT and ACT scores measure up. But the university has a cap on the number of incoming freshmen it can accept; that’s the case in several of Texas’s top public universities.

Then you hear that some son or daughter of a big-time donor gets admitted. You wonder immediately whether that new freshman got in totally on merit or was he or she able to slide in via deep-pocketed Mom and Dad’s connection with the school.

This scandal speaks to a whole array of matters that need careful examination. Privilege appears to be at the top of the heap. How many of our colleges and universities are involved in this horrible story? Are worthy high school graduates being denied admission because someone else has greased the palm of some university president, chancellor or regent?

The entertainers in question — Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman — have posted hefty bonds to be released from jail. Their troubles are just beginning.

So, too, should college and universities administrators squirm as this story continues to gather pace.

I hope we don’t lose interest in this matter.