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Former Riders player charged in U.S. college admission scandal

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Former Saskatchewan Roughrider and B.C. Lions defensive back David
Sidoo has been charged in the same college admission scandal that has ensnared celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

The Vancouver-based Sidoo is one of 50 people charged in a case that has sparked outrage south of border. He is accused of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in Massachusetts.

Sidoo, the CFL’s first Indo-Canadian player, suited up for six seasons between 1983 and 1988, including five in Saskatchewan and had seven interceptions for the Riders in 1987. He played his university ball at UBC, where he won a Vanier Cup in 1980, and has been heavily involved in the recent resurgence of the program. A field on campus is named after him.

Sidoo has received the Order of B.C. and is a member of the B.C.
Sports Hall of Fame.

Sidoo’s lawyer, Richard Schonfeld, issued a statement claiming his
client’s innocence.

“The charge that has been lodged against David is an allegation that carries with it the presumption that he is innocent. We look forward to representing our case in court, and ask that people don’t rush to judgment in the meantime,” the statement read.

An indictment alleges Sidoo paid $100,000 in 2011 to have an individual secretly take the SAT in place of his older son, then used the score in an application at Chapman University, a private California school, where Sidoo’s son was admitted.

The indictment also alleges Sidoo agreed to pay another $100,000 in 2012 for someone to take the SAT in place of his younger son. The scores were sent to universities as part of his college applications, including the University of California-Berkeley, where he was accepted.

At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents including Hollywood
actresses Huffman and Loughlin are among those charged in the investigation, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues.

After his retirement from the CFL, Sidoo started a career as
businessman and investor and is reportedly worth several hundred
million dollars.

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