Pro golfer Phil Mickelson, left, and legendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, right, acknowledged they are linked to a California man who bribed college coaches and administrators to get wealthy students into top schools.
Federal prosecutors charged 50 people with a mail fraud and bribery scandal that involves the nation's elite colleges. The indictments accuse the affluent parents of paying William Rick Singer $25 million to help their underachieving children cheat on college entrance exams.
The list of well-to-do names include actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, as well as Loughlin's fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli.
Huffman, Loughlin and Giannulli were arrested and released on bond. Their next scheduled court date is March 29.
Montana, the legendary 49er, admitted his name is linked to Singer's company, but he claims the link is "minimal."
Montana, pictured right with NFL legend Deion Sanders and tennis champ Serena Williams, tweeted: "Mr. Singer's company provided nothing more than minimal consulting service to our family, like so many other families, with the college application process."
He added, "Fortunately, our kids were able to pick from a number of schools to attend due to their hard work and their merit."
Professional golfer Phil Mickelson, won 43 events on the PGA Tour, including 5 major titles, also revealed his connection to Singer's nonprofit company.
Mickelson acknowledged he worked with Singer to get his eldest daughter into Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Mickelson's daughter is a sophomore at Brown.
Mickelson's two younger children, a sophomore and junior in high school, have been working with Singer's company to help them apply to colleges.
"Our family, along with thousands of others, used Rick Singer's company to guide us through the college admission process," Mickelson tweeted. "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."
Mickelson said schools are actively recruiting his youngest children.
"Our kids - schools are fighting to get them," Mickelson told reporters in Ponte Verda Beach, Florida, where he is competing in The Players Championship this week. "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."
Singer plead guilty in federal court to bribery and fraud charges on Monday. He faces a maximum of 65 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
Colleges involved in the scandal are reviewing their varsity athletes on a case-by-case basis.
The University of Southern California announced it was also reviewing select students on a case-by-case basis.
Loughlin's 2 daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella, both dropped out of USC on Thursday amid fears of bullying on campus.
Both girls were on billionaire USC trustee chairman Rick Caruso's yacht in the Bahamas when news of the scandal broke on Tuesday.
Olivia was among a group of USC sorority sisters invited to spend spring break on the yacht with Caruso's daughter Gianni, an Instagram "influencer" who goes by Gigi.
Photos by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images, Theo Wargo/Getty Images