This is America: you’re either a duper or a dupee. I’m a duper. You guys are the dupees.

— Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

How will the 2019 college admissions scandal work out? Likely to the best interest of most everyone directly involved. Individuals already charged or still under investigation can functionally be divided into two groups of distinct socioeconomic status: the bribers and the bribees. The former are affluent citizens with connections and top-notch legal representation. The latter are at a slight but not critical disadvantage.

The faculty members and staff embroiled in the scandal are unlikely to be abandoned by their renowned employers. First and foremost, this is a battle for reputation. Under the circumstances, throwing your employees under the bus – however tempting and richly-deserved – is ultimately counterproductive, as their transgressions are not theirs alone.

The ultimate question here is “how deep does the rabbit hole go?” Likely deeper than most Americans of means and influence would like exposed. They will not be terribly upset if this scandal is resolved cleanly and, more importantly, quickly. The longer this rabbit hole dominates the headlines, the deeper it will go.

Will anyone go to jail? Maybe. Depends on how loudly the philistines demand the sacrificial lamb. Some admissions clerk, perhaps even a sports team coach. Should push come to shove, I’m sure the most expendable figurants will be promptly identified and thrown on the altar of justice. Expediency is the key and details are largely irrelevant.

For the rest of us mortals the message of the story will be rather unremarkable: if things don’t go your way, let them go: those are not your things.

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