PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida – PGA Tourist golfer Phil Mickelson confirmed Thursday that he and his wife, Amy, have hired William Singer and his university tutoring company to prepare their children for college admission and the selection process.  Mickelson, speaking after his opening session at The Players Championship, said that everything was done above advice and that neither he nor his family ever made financial contributions to the Singer & # 39; s Key World Foundation.
"We, along with thousands of other families, have hired him and his company to help guide us through the college application process," said Mickelson. "We are shocked like all the last days."
Earlier this week, federal authorities announced that Singer had orchestrated a massive corruption plan to convince students to admit elite universities as recruited athletes and help them cheat college entrance exams to gain admission. He pleaded guilty to charges on Tuesday including the conspiracy of the racket, prosecutors said.
Singer managed Edge College & Career Network, a college counseling school and a preparatory activity in Newport Beach, California. He identified and recruited coaches who were willing to accept bribes from the parents of future students to help them gain admission to the elite universities.
According to federal prosecutors, from 201
The singer also maintained clients willing to pay bribes to coaches and college administrators in order to gain admission for their children. The coaches supposedly designated the students as recruits for competitive college athletics teams, regardless of their athletic ability, to help facilitate their admission. Singer and others have hidden bribe payments by channeling the money through Singer's charitable organization.
"We are not part of this," Mickelson said of the corruption and fraud system. "Most of the families who took over his company were not part of it, I think that's why we're all so surprised."
Mickelson's eldest daughter, Amanda, is a university student at Brown University. She graduated from the Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, California, and was captain of the tennis and lacrosse teams. Mickelson's younger children, daughter Sophia and son Evan, are still in high school.
"Our children, schools are like fighting for them," Mickelson said. "I say this as a proud dad: their grades, outside activities and worldly beliefs are things that colleges recruit. [Singer and his company] helped us through the whole process because it can be confusing."
Edge College & Career Network published a testimony of Mickelson and his wife on his company website. Mickelson said it was a note of thanks that his wife wrote to Singer for helping them in their children's academic career.