PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Phil Mickelson admitted that he and his family are “shocked” by recent revelations and federal charges surrounding a college recruitment company that he and his family have used for the past three years.
Mickelson and his wife, Amy, have used the services of Edge College & Career Network, also known as The Key, and its CEO, William “Rick” Singer, in the college search process for all three of their children. This week Singer was arrested and plead guilty to four federal charges tied to a scheme in which his company would bribe university officials and sometimes create fraudulent athletic profiles to help certain applicants gain access to highly sought-after schools. Singer now faces up to 65 years in prison.
Mickelson sent a tweet shortly after completing a 2-over 74 at The Players and expanded on his comments after the round.
“We along with thousands of other families hired his company to help guide us through the college application process,” Mickelson said. “We’re probably more shocked than anyone. We’ve been dealing with it the last few days.”
Mickelson explained that his family has used tutoring services from Singer’s company and sought advice in finding the best educational fit for their children, a process he described as “confusing.” Mickelson’s daughter, Amanda, is a sophomore at Brown University, while his daughter Sophia is a junior in high school and son Evan is a sophomore in high school.
According to Mickelson, he and his family have looked at over three dozen colleges and universities based on “recommendations” from Singer and his company.
“He was highly recommended by numerous friends that checked out, so we ended up using him,” Mickelson said. “Where he and his company were helpful was helping our kids, who have such different personalities, to find the best place for them. And then knowing going in what you need to do academically, score-wise, to be able to get there.”
The charges against Singer also included the arrests of several coaches, university officials and parents who played an active role in the scheme, including a pair of Hollywood celebrities. Actress Felicity Huffman allegedly paid $15,000 to help boost her daughter’s standardized test scores, while actress Lori Loughlin is accused of paying $500,000 to help her two daughters gain entry into USC.
Mickelson and his wife provided a testimonial that was featured on the website for Singer's company. According to Mickelson, that stemmed from a "thank-you text" that his wife, Amy, sent to Singer.
Mickelson denied making any nefarious financial contributions to Singer’s company and reiterated that the services he and his family received had nothing to do with the illegal activity that has garnered headlines across the country this week.
“Our kids are, schools are like fighting to get them. And I say that as a proud dad. Their grades and their outside activities, and their worldly views on things have colleges recruiting them,” he said. “We’re not a part of this. Most every family that has used the company is not a part of it. So that’s why I think we’re all surprised.”