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Athlete is Collateral Damage in College Scandal

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Athlete is Collateral Damage in College Scandal

Max Miller (11) winds up to take a shot on goal. Unstoppable in the pool, Miller is a key player on SJHHS’ boys water polo team.

Max Miller (11) winds up to take a shot on goal. Unstoppable in the pool, Miller is a key player on SJHHS’ boys water polo team.

Diane Miller

Max Miller (11) winds up to take a shot on goal. Unstoppable in the pool, Miller is a key player on SJHHS’ boys water polo team.

Diane Miller

Diane Miller

Max Miller (11) winds up to take a shot on goal. Unstoppable in the pool, Miller is a key player on SJHHS’ boys water polo team.

Makayla Walders, Staff Writer

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When news of the nationwide college admissions bribery scandal broke out just a few weeks ago, junior, Max Miller, would have never thought his future would have been altered. 

Max Miller, varsity water polo player, had been in contact with the coaching staff from the University of Southern California, and even went on an official visit only two weeks prior to the uncovering of the bribery accepted by USC head water polo coach, Jovan Vavic.

“I always had sort of a weird feeling about USC before visiting, I didn’t know why. Then, when I went on the visit, Jovan was the only one on the staff that I really got a different vibe from,” states Miller.

I always had sort of a weird feeling about USC before visiting, I didn’t know why. Then, when I went on the visit, Jovan was the only one on the staff that I really got a different vibe from.”

— Max Miller

He was charged for allegedly receiving bribes of over $250,000 to help parents take advantage of the lenient admissions standards for athletes at USC, though their children were not in fact athletes. By listing them on his team roster, they would be granted admission, but would not be held accountable to actually playing.

Shortly after the media caught wind of the incident, Miller was contacted by Marko Pintaric, then assistant coach. Pintaric explained the delicate situation. He explained to Miller that after being arrested, Jovan would plead innocent later that week with hopes of not facing any charges.

After Jovan was promptly fired, Miller was left with a flurry of questions. Unsure of whether he would have to make new connections, or continue with his admissions process ignoring the scandal, he tried to keep himself in the loop.

In the weeks following the uncovering of the scandal, Pintaric continued to keep Miller in the loop on the happenings within their program. Miller was again invited on an official visit.

I think that Pintaric will pick up where he left off, and possibly make it even better.”

— Max Miller

“It’s sad that it [the scandal] happened because Jovan did so many great things with the program. I think that Pintaric will pick up where he left off, and possibly make it even better,” said Miller.

The uncovering of the scandal didn’t tainted Miller’s thoughts of potentially playing for the team, as Pintaric was very proactive about keeping him aware of the facts, and ensuring their interest in him still remained.

Though the future for Jovan has yet to be determined, one can infer that it won’t be with USC. As for Miller, his just might be.

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About the Writer
Makayla Walders, Staff Writer

Makayla is a senior at SJHHS and this is her first year writing for The Express as Editorial Editor! She is involved in Link Crew, Younglife club, and...

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