EXCLUSIVE

Lori Loughlin may have gotten an assist in her defense — good old-fashioned ignorance — ’cause her daughters almost perfectly fit the mold with how women’s rowing teams recruit. 

An ad for the USC women’s crew team popped up on campus over the weekend — and we for sure thought it couldn’t have been real … seeing how tone-deaf it came off and the implications behind it, considering Olivia Jade and Isabella‘s “no experience.”

Well … turns out, the poster is real because we’ve been educated on how USC women’s rowing teams work when it comes to recruiting walk-ons and the like.

A USC alum who was actually a coxswain at the university tells us women’s rowing teams often recruit potential teammates who have zero experience in the sport — which is kinda what Olivia Jade and Isabella were coming to the table with.

Typically, the way it works is that you already have to be a student to qualify for the team … it’s not for some random people on the street who want in at USC.

But, here’s the thing … in Lori’s case, prosecutors have to prove criminal intent to seal a conviction. Sources connected with Lori’s defense claim Lori didn’t know the $500k payoff was shady, even if the plan was to pretend her daughters were crew-team ready. The poster would seem to help Lori and her husband, both of whom are charged with multiple felonies, because crew experience doesn’t seem to be essential.

Prosecutors are trying to squeeze Lori and her husband to cop a plea, but our sources say their lawyers believe they have a real shot at getting a not guilty verdict if push comes to shove. 

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Story first appeared on TMZ.com

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