News Was this student admitted to the prestigious UCLA gymnastics...

Was this student admitted to the prestigious UCLA gymnastics team?


Even according to the high standards of UCLA gymnastics, the new team member stood out 2016.

The group was one of the largest collections of recruits in the history of the NCAA, including two Olympic gold winners and others with state, national and national reputation.

However, one of nine women stood. The life of Maria Caire's team was not competitive.

UCLA listed as a former member of Pasadena-based Gymnastics Gymnastics Club, but the best guys who trained in the club during the same period as the Irish Times said they had never seen their practice. There is no record of her participation in a meeting for the club.

However, other collegiate speakers did not need something else. Her uncle was a close friend of UCLA's legendary coach, Valorie Kondos Field. In a book published last year, Kondos Field described the student's uncle as “one of my good friends.” Property records show that a condominium was in existence in the late 1990s.

Kondos Field, who led the school to seven NCAA staff in 29 previous seasons retiring in April, who said that the friendship had no bearing on the recruitment of Kay. Instead, the coach believed the character, work ethic and potential of the student in the dome. Kairos Field has not competed for UCLA due to medical issues but worked as a team manager for the past two seasons, Kondos Field said.

“She has devoted much time to UCLA gymnastics and her colleagues,” the coach said.

The nationwide college admission scandal showed that some students with mock athletics returned to elite universities through bribes to administrators or coaches. However, the scandal has also explored a wider complaint in higher education: Applicants use influential links to exploit the side door as athletic recruits despite not having reached their new colleagues.

In many schools, coaches are very capable of filling their rosters with scholarship and non-scholarship recruits, which avoids the admissions process used by regular students. The prospect of entry through athletic recruitment is still more attractive to minority colleges such as UCLA, t only 14% more than 110,000 applicants were accepted last year.

At least 18 students have been accepted as athletic recruits in recent years as children of coaches or administrators in the school or have been closely involved with them, according to the Times review of UCLA records and interviews. Some were highly respected in their sports. Others had a thin resume compared to others working together.


Valorie Kondos Field, UCLA head gymnastics coach, plays Dan Guerrero as the athletics director who presents the floor during a retirement ceremony at Pauley Pavilion.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Ken Weiner served as senior associate director of athletics, with responsibilities encompassing the supervision of men's soccer. His son, Kevin, spent four seasons on the team roster. He played five minutes in one regular season as a goalkeeper from 2007 to 2010, according to UCLA records. Who
Weiner's school biography He noted that he was an all-round player at Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach, that many colleagues on the roster packed packed talent in his state selections, all Americans or members of national youth teams.

Travis Martin, the youngest son of a UCLA man tennis coach Billy Martin, it was not ranked with, the site to engage in sports college recruitment tracking, coming out of Los Angeles Loyola High in 2013. The other four members of UCLA's freshman class received that year's rankings and included top college recruitment the country. Martin played in seven games during four seasons on the team, according to UCLA records.

Julia Savage, daughter of UCLA's baseball coach, John Savage, was admitted through track and field in 2013. Nathan Howard, the track and field coach in Los Alamitos High, who attended Julia, was not remembered that she was involved in the sport. There is no record of its competition at UCLA. List an internal track directory and field staff for her new year as manager; the rules of the athletics departments prevent the use of athletes' entry process for managers. UCLA would not say when the rule came into effect.

In 2014, UCLA student newspaper Kondos Field stated that she suggested that the school golf coach should be accompanied by the son of a former British coach Jerry Tomlinson. He hired Kondos Field as a coach assistant in UCLA in 1983. Tomlinson's son, Cory, was listed on a UCLA golf roster for the 2010-11 season, although there was no record. Joel Wittenberg, the 2006 golf coach at Trabuco Hills High in Mission Viejo, who Tomlinson attended, told The Times that he had never heard of it. Cory Tomlinson worked as a UCLA gymnastics manager from 2010 to 2014.

Following the college entry scandal, UCLA director Dan Athlete Dan Guerrero publicly protected the athletics entry process, describing it as “among the most intense and thorough college athletics.” t

Guerrero's youngest daughter, Kathryn, was admitted as rowing recruits in 2004. Her husband UCLA team biography the club's rowing team were not listed. Some former UCLA employees conducted a private questionnaire on admitting circumstances, although it is common for athletes to participate in college rowing teams without previous experience in sport.

Kevin Weiner, Travis Martin, Julia Savage, Cory Tomlinson and Kathryn Guerrero did not respond to requests for comments.

“The implementation of each potential student is processed in the same way, regardless of whether he or she has a personal relationship within the university,” UCLA spokesman Tod Tamberg said in a statement. He said that the athletics director has no role in the entry process for athletes.

Since 1998, UC Policy fundraising courses have been prevented from entering admissions. It also does not allow so-called alumni relatives to inherit, but there is no specific policy regarding the use of the athletics admissions process for children or colleagues of university employees.

Tamberg said that it was UCLA's practice to notify the Student Admissions Committee of 8 years and that it must allow recruits of any family links that a potential athlete has with university employees.

Rick Eckstein, professor of sociology at Villanova who has studied and written on college athletics, said that the use of door-side in athletic recruitment is a national problem.

“B it may not be the norm that unhappy athletes are given access to the so-called side-doors, but it is more widespread than we think,” Eckstein said. “We usually associate sport, regardless of level, with some form of democracy.” T

The UCLA internal investigation in 2014 it was found that a family had committed $ 100,000 to the athletics department as an alternative to entering their daughter as a scholarship track and field recruitment. She was a team manager. The school requires students who are accepted as non-scholarship athletes to be “athletic qualified” and spend their first year in school on the staff roster, not as managers.

Around the same time, Tamberg said, “the athletics department increased“ administrative oversight of the recruitment process. ”This included revised profiles of prospective recruits submitted to the athlete admissions committee for approval.

“The expectation remains that UCLA coaches take their rosters with student athletes who meet the academic requirements for suitably qualified university admission,” said Tamberg in his statement.

Maria Caire was recruited as an athlete under the strengthening process.

Tamberg said that UCLA gymnastics coaches believed that a combination of student athletics and UCLA level training would be a valuable asset to the team ”in the dome. Caire's parents, he said, had not been awarded to the school or given gifts when she was recruited.

He stated that the school used a “multi-stage assessment process” to verify the QA veterinarian, including “the viewing video of students doing gymnastics skills” by unspecified staff to realize their athletic potential. The Times asked the video, but Tamberg said the school was not able to find it.

Kay refused to comment, saying that Kondos Field “addressed all these issues” from The Times about his gymnastics experience and his recruitment to UCLA.

His uncle, Paul Chiames, said he had been friends with Kondos Field for thirty years and both were partners in the 1990s. He said that his nephew spotted on the UCLA team on his own merits as “she was a strong violinist.” He added that she was making steady backflips since she was 5 years old.

With the Times review of ten UCLA gymnastics over the last decade, it was found that almost all staff had competed at Level 10, the largest in the US Junior Olympic Olympic program, or had extensive international experience. Two US gymnasts had less than Level 9 experience – a person competing at Level 7 and Caution, who had no competition record, according to MyMeetScores, a widely used clearing house for fruit gymnastics.

Caire's colleagues included Madison Kocian, a team gold medal and individual silver at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and Kyla Ross, a member of the US Fierce Five gold team. at the 2012 Summger Games in London.

UCLA decided to recruit a person without any record of competitions to gymnastics observers of some colleges at a time.

“I've never heard of a case like that unless it's a Make-A-Wish-esque situation,” said Elizabeth Grimsley, editor College Gym News.

In Kondos Field's book “Life is Short, Don Wait to Dance,” she described a six-day training regime for college seniors.

“The jumps made by the college have made the 10,000 repetitions needed to make the skill … to be able to do it at any time, anywhere,” wrote Kondos Field.

The Times asked The Times about Chaire's gymnastics experience, the coach wasn't sure how long she was training at the Club.

“She was very involved with the school, the church and dance staff throughout the church, and as a result she was unable to do gymnastics lessons on a consistent basis,” said Kondos Field. "She had many years to do … I knew if she had the talent, we could develop it."

She said that she had learned about Love through a phone call from the Champion Club owner. The owner, Zak Johnson, said that he did not have a clear idea of ​​making such a call but “he speaks up” to all senior members of the club and “he could recommend it to UCLA.” T

Johnson, who meets the public address bubble for UCLA gymnastics, said that Caire never took part in the club but took private lessons and took part in some evening programs. He thought she had trained in the gym for a year and a half – maybe every other day. In a follow-up call, Johnson thought she had been trained for two years. He believed that she could help UCLA in the dome.

“I have no idea how she went into UCLA,” Johnson said. “I was absolutely surprised.”

Johnson said that some coaches worked with Cauldron at Champion Champion, including Ivan Bereznyakov. When The Times, Bereznyakov approached them, no longer works at the club, he said he had never heard of the Choir.

Emily Carr, who took part in the Club Final for ten years, reached Level 10, graduated from high school in 2017 and is part of Cornell gymnastics team, who said she knew about Went from the neighborhood but never saw in the club.

Another former athlete of the Club recalled that he was looking for information about Caire after she had noticed her on a UCLA roster. “We tried to look for it and she was as if she wasn't there,” said Lauren Helgeson, who achieved Level 9 when competing for the club through 2016.

For current and archive versions of the websites for Champion Club and its booster club, there's a rush on rosters or lists of recruiting athletes or alumni who competed in college.

During an interview with the Irish Times, Kondos Field repeatedly complimented Caire with Ariana Berlin, who entered UCLA as a nonscholarship athlete when he collapsed in 2005 and became an all-American member four times.

However, Berlin did well before the college, and won the overall title of the Western Nationals in 1999, achieving Level 10 and training for the minority level before it forced a sport car crash in 2001. Berlin's journey from accident to disaster became the victim of a gym on UCLA as a television-made film released in 2015, “Full Out.”

Kondos Field stated that routine pre-medical medical tests in 2016 found a condition that prevented call being cleared to train or compete. Eventually she was cleared at an unspecified point before the end of the season, but the coach said she then developed an additional health problem.

“She said, im I am too stressful. I can't continue with this, '' said Kondos Field. “I put her in an immediate management role. She has been working with her, to be truly honest, since then. ”


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