Phil Mickelson worked with Rick Singer to get his daughter into Brown

By Megan Cerullo

/ MoneyWatch

Professional golfer Phil Mickelson acknowledges he was among the thousands of parents who hired the advisory firm at the center of the college admissions scandal, but he denies engaging in the kind of fraud that others are accused of.

"Our family, along with thousands of others, used Rick Singer's company to guide us through the college admission process," Mickelson said over Twitter. "We are shocked by revelations of these events. Obviously, we were not part of this fraud, our kids would disown us if we ever tried to interfere."

Our family, along with thousands of others, used Rick Singer’s company to guide us through the college admission process. We are shocked by the revelations of these events. Obviously, we were not part of this fraud, our kids would disown us if we ever tried to interfere.

— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) March 14, 2019

Federal prosecutors accuse William "Rick" Singer, founder of the Edge College & Career Network, of leading a scam that involved falsifying student test scores and bribing coaches at elite colleges and universities to secure admission.

Singer has plead guilty to federal charges that could land him in prison for up to 65 years. Some 50 parents, including actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin as well as wealthy financial executives, have been implicated in the scheme.

Mickelson's eldest daughter is a sophomore at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. His two younger children, a sophomore and junior in high school, have been working with Singer's company to navigate the process of selecting and applying to colleges.

Brown University conducted "a case-by-case review" of its varsity athletes and found no concerns related to the scandal, a spokesperson for the school said.

Parents and students file lawsuit against colleges in admissions cheating scandal

Mickelson said Singer, who was recommended to him by friends, never broached anything illegal.

"Our kids…schools are like fighting to get them," Mickelson told reporters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where he is competing in The Players Championship. "I say that as a proud dad. But their grades, their outside activities, their worldly views on things, have colleges recruiting them. We weren't even aware, really."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

First published on March 15, 2019 / 2:03 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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