Jovan Vavic Finally Goes To Trial

I have been asked many times when former USC water polo coach Jovan Vavic will go to trial in the Varsity Blues scandal. The answer: Today.

It’s a risk for Vavic. The two toughest sentences so far in the scandal went to parents who went to trial and lost. Ex-casino executive Gamal Abdelaziz was sentenced to one year and one day and private-equity financier John Wilson got 15 months. The pair have appealed their convictions.

The Wall Street Journal reported Vavic’s defense will focus “at least in part on USC’s admissions and fundraising practices, claiming the coach was fulfilling his duty by raising money for his program while also recruiting what he thought were legitimate water polo players.”

Now for another common question: Former USC administrator Donna Heinel, who plead guilty in November, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

22 thoughts on “Jovan Vavic Finally Goes To Trial

  1. The toughest thing in any prosecution is proving criminal intent. It’s always a problem when a defendant can say, “I thought what I was doing was in line with company practice.” This defense is available to Vavic. It’ll come down to how defense-oriented the judge allows the jury instructions to get.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I worked the other side of the aisle for a time, Michael, trying to get people off, but I do only civil these days.

      As you suggest, ‘following company policy’ would be a primary defense, which would trump an “insanity” plea.

      Like

      1. If you convince jury of “good faith belief” in correctness of your conduct, you’re on your way out the door.
        #EvenIfYourBeliefIsIrrational…
        #[It’sAlmostTooEasy]

        Like

    2. Michael,

      I am no attorney so I have a question, if the defedant does say that, then can the prosecuting attorney say, alright let us see the company policy or bring in the company executives and ask them if that is the company policy?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am not Michael, PT, and in fact people would say “I am no Michael,”
        but the answer to your question is yes, such evidence would be used as impeachment to disprove what the defendant claimed was true.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ..and won’t it be embarrassing if it turns out that it’s [mostly] true?
        #I.E.,Admissions&AthleticDirectorKnewAboutTheProblem?

        Like

  2. By the way, USC basketball is outta the Top Twenty….
    #NotThatItMatters…
    #TheSeasonAlwaysComesDownToTheTournaments…
    #WeNeedToGetTo30WinsForSeasonToBeATrueSuccess

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How to get 30 wins when SC is presently at 25–
      I would prefer to lose on Thursday, and then
      get to the Sweet 16 (2 wins),
      then get to the Final-4 (2 wins)
      then get to the Finals (1 win)
      and then get clobbered by Gonzaga.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have no problem with that route, Lawyer John…Except…
        #….I’mNotSureHowWeWinTheFinals&LoseToGonzaga…
        #DoWeScheduleAPostNCAAChampionshipGame?

        Like

      2. 30 wins is a stretch.
        Here’s a scenario for a 29 win season…

        A reasonable expectation would be two wins in the Pac 12 tourney–which would require beating UCLA in the “rubber game.”*

        With a 2-1 record in the Pac 12 tourney, maybe USC gets bumped up to a #5 or #6 seed (projected to be a #7 seed) in the Natty tourney and does not end up playing #2 KU in their region after winning game #1 in the NCAA tourney. Two wins in the NCAA (“doable” with a higher seed) and then a tough sweet 16 matchup.

        *Trojans usually win the rubber game.

        Like

  3. My boyfriend said if my name is mentioned in this scandal he’s going to get pissed, and may leave me. 🥲. I keep telling him that I have nothing to do with it, so let’s continue to be undercover here in the Palm Springs area .

    Like

      1. MG asked for a recount. Here goes:
        SC wins its first 2 games in the Tournament and gets to the Sweet 16
        SC wins its next 2 games and gets to the Final-4
        SC wins its semi-final Final-4 game and gets to the Finals
        SC loses in the finals
        (Note: have to win 6 games to be crowned champ)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Now a poster posing as Pat Haden says he has a boyfriend.

      When I was young I prayed to be a public figure,
      but now I pray that I don’t become a public figure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Being a public figure:
        You get more free stuff…
        …but it’s harder to win defamation suits ….
        #KindOfAWash

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Ed –as usual —makes more sense than the N.Y. Times and Washington Post put together —-
        #HeTakesEverythingToTheSecondPower….

        Like

    1. …and I thought George Kennan–author of the long telegram–had this thing figured out in 1946.

      The late, great ambassador to the Soviet Union sure could have benefitted by Ed. G’s realpolitik.

      So true, Ed. G

      Like

  4. Lawyer John and Michael,

    To follow up on what Michael had said, that it is very hard to proscute a defendant that says it is company policy and that evidence can be brought in for the company policy, then why would it be hard to determine crinimal intent?

    law classes are at night per Lawyer John and Michael. LOLOl

    Like

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