Ballmer Boosted Prep School Sports

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer allegedly helped Lakeside School, a Seattle prep school, dramatically improve its basketball team through questionable practices, including promoting basketball-focused scholarships, altering the admission standards, and weakening the enforcement of academic requirements. “They relaxed their academic integrity to accommodate athletes,” said Dana Papasedero, who coached basketball at the elite Lakeside for two decades. Ballmer is the recent owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, though he appears to have worked his own takeover of the Lakeside team. Testimony in a lawsuit against Ballmer quotes him as saying after a disappointing Lakeside loss, “I’m going to open up a foundation, and we’re going to get black people in here.” Ballmer allegedly helped bring in a new coach in 2008 that he privately gave $800 a month to in addition to his Lakeside salary. There are also accusations that the school kept advancing basketball players to higher grades, despite low GPA's and academic struggles that may have made them inelligible. “I feel they have strayed from their core values,” said Papsadero.