STANFORD (KPIX 5) — Student athletes recommended by coaches at Stanford University will now undergo a background check to confirm their athletic credentials in the wake of the college bribery scandal.

The university’s president and provost made the announcement last week in a blog post.

“I think steps that are being taken to keep it from happening are good steps,” said Stanford Professor Philip Beachy. “I think checking students credentials is appropriate.”

In the blog, Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Provost Persis Drell said student-athletes would no longer just be accepted on a recommendation by a coach.

Instead, “a member of the executive leadership of the Athletics Department responsible for each of Stanford’s 36 varsity men’s and women’s sports will review and confirm the athletic credentials of all recruits,” which “will provide a second, higher-level verification of the athletic credentials.”


Carla Bury and her 17-year-old daughter Sophie visited Stanford Monday as a prospective college. Sophie is an avid Alpine skier who hopes she gets accepted into a college as an athlete in addition to her grades.

“She’s going to a ski academy and she trains six days a week,” Carla said. “Although they [Stanford] don’t have a ski program, but she is also interested in other things, so we’ll see.”

Two weeks ago, a group of wealthy parents were accused of paying a college consultant to bribe coaches and administrators to secure a spot for their children at elite universities. Those implicated included celebrities.

Carla said she wondered how they could slip through the cracks.

“I think it’s really unfortunate and hopefully they find ways to put measures in place so it doesn’t happen again,” she said.

In addition to the new protocol at Stanford, the university is also launching an external review of its Athletics Department recommendation admissions process, as well as its procedures around accepting gifts and donations.

Stanford fired its head sailing coach for allegedly accepting $770,000 in bribes and is currently investigating whether one of its students was connected to the scandal.

The president and provost also said in their blog post that they’ve confirmed athletic credentials for members of its sailing team who received an athletic recommendation, dating back to 2011.

Carla said they’ve just begun the search for colleges, but Sophie is prepared if she applies to Stanford and the university wants to check her athletic credentials.

“She works, trains, really hard and studies really hard and is hoping to get in just on her own merit,” Carla said.